First-year admissions to college will be delayed, and students will be at a disadvantage finding accommodation due to the later issuing of Leaving Cert results, universities have warned.
It comes as the State Examinations Commission announced this Thursday that students will receive their results this year on Friday, September 2. A date has not yet been released for when the first round of CAO college offers will go to students.
Leaving Cert results are typically issued in mid-August with the first round of college offers issued a few days later.
Following the announcement, the Irish Universities Association (IUA) said its universities will do the utmost to deal with the later issuing of the results this year and ensure that first years are supported.
“However, as a number of universities resume teaching from September 5, it is clear that first-year admissions will be delayed, particularly those with second and third round CAO offers.”
“First-year students will be at a clear disadvantage on finding accommodation due to the delayed results,” it said.
“It is imperative that the Minister and government plan now for earlier Leaving Cert exams and results, starting in 2023, so that students and their families have sufficient time to make what are life-changing choices and to avoid unnecessary stress on students.”
Approximately 131,000 students are undertaking exams this summer, an increase of 6% when compared to the last time a full set of exams ran before the pandemic. Leaving Cert results are typically issued in mid-August with the first round of college offers issued a few days later.
However, they have been issued later in the year since 2020 following changes to the traditional exams due to Covid. Last year, students received their results on Friday, September 3.
The SEC has received much criticism this year in relation to the delay in announcing the date when students will receive their results. Colleges have warned that a late issue of the results could delay the start of the academic year for thousands of first-year students.
The SEC said today it intends to issue exam results to students on Friday, September 2. A number of factors this year have led the SEC to this date.
This includes the deferred sitting of the exams for students affected by bereavement, illness, accident, injury or Covid-19. These exams are due to begin on June 30 and will run until July 16. There is also a shortage of examiners this year to mark the written exams.
Education Minister Norma Foley also gave a commitment this year that the overall set of results in 2022 will be no lower, on aggregate, than the 2021 results.
With this in mind, the SEC believes that sufficient time must be allowed for an extensive range of checks and quality assurance procedures to "ensure the highest possible standards are maintained".
Since the arrangements for the 2022 exams were announced in February, the SEC has been planning on all aspects of the State exams, which include the Leaving Cert, Leaving Cert Applied, and the Junior Cert, an SEC spokesman said.
There are a number of significant factors which have made providing a date for the issue of the Leaving Certificate results challenging, he added.
“The SEC has an absolute responsibility to examination candidates to ensure that their work is marked to the highest standards of quality and integrity and the Commission must be able to stand over the results it issues each year.”
The SEC will also issue a direct communication to candidates by email about the planned date for the issue of the Leaving Certificate results.