Colleges struggling to cope as Leaving Cert continues to produce high results

It’s Leaving Cert results day! While many students will be delighted with the outcome of their results, universities are speaking up about the difficulties that come with students securing the top grades.

It has been revealed today that the rate of inflation within results has not come down following the influence of the Covid pandemic. In fact, the exam authorities have chosen to adjust this year’s grades, in order to keep them in line with the results from last year. 

The Minister for Education, Norma Foley, promised this year’s 61,000 students that they would not be disadvantaged as a result of sitting exams this year, rather than receiving teacher-assessed grades.

This year, the State Examinations Commission implemented a “postmarking intervention” to increase all students’ grades, so that there wouldn’t be a huge change from the set of results from 2021.

On average, this intervention from the SEC has led to a 5.6% increase in each student’s exam marks. This year, 14% of students achieved a H1 grade in a higher level subject - this percentage is almost three times higher than what it was before the pandemic began. 

The number of students achieving H1s in higher level English and Irish has more than doubled since 2019. Meanwhile, the number of students receiving H1 grades in higher level Maths has risen from 6.4% in 2019, to a whopping 18.1% this year.

However, although this has been good news for students, universities and colleges across the country are calling out for help. Because of the overwhelming demand and a record number of students receiving top grades, college administrators are struggling to provide places for every student.

Higher education institutions across Ireland are calling on the government to bring inflated grades to an end, to allow a fairer examination process and to keep the integrity of the Leaving Cert intact.

The president of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, noted that the continuation of inflated grades is an “injustice” to students.

Universities have stated that they may be forced to use random selection across many high-point courses, when the round one CAO offers are released next Thursday, September 8.

For now, we’re sending our warmest congratulations to the class of 2022!