Points have risen across all five colleges in NUIG, which include medicine, biomedical science, arts, occupational therapy, biopharmaceutical chemistry, and speech and language therapy.
All now require more than 500 points for entry, with mathematical science and commerce with French in the high 400s.
There has been a rise in applications to study commerce, especially with an international language, with commerce with German and commerce with Spanish rising by 10 points, to 460 and 470 respectively.
Changes to the HPAT exam have resulted in a reduction in points nationally for entry into medical programmes, with points for medicine decreasing to 721. Nursing remains at 450, while midwifery rose by five points to 455.
A similar rise in demand has been seen in the sciences, with physics rising by 20 points to 420.
NUIG’s admission officer, Stephen O’Dea, praised the upsurge in points at the college, and said: “Incoming students will be well placed to benefit from NUI Galway’s significant capital investment programme in embracing innovation, entrepreneurship, and research.”
GMIT also increased its honours degree offers by thirty per cent. Demand continues for science, mechanical engineering, construction courses, and nursing.
Points for the Bachelor of Science in medical science increased by 25 this year, from 410 to 435. There have also been a significant points rise in general nursing, as well as a 12 per cent increase in demand for agriculture-related programmes.
At the Centre for Creative Arts and Media, formerly known as Cluain Mhuire, demand continues for the popular Bachelor of Arts in film and documentary which stands at 320.
GMIT registrar Michael Hannon says points decreased for a number of science based programmes: “Catering to a spike in demand from Leaving Cert students for honours programmes in GMIT, we reduced CAO points on some of our Level 8 offerings such as the Bachelor of Science in applied freshwater and marine biology, the BSc in applied biology and biopharmaceutical science, and our general entry science degree.”
However, the cost of third level education is becoming a strain for many families. The Irish League of Credit Unions issued a press release yesterday, detailing the expenses that come with sending a son or daughter to college. It notes that the increased registration fee of €2,750 alone puts huge pressure on family budgets, along with the extras of rent, bills, food, and travel.
According to a survey by the ICLU, 72 per cent of parents said they adversely affected by the increase in registration, with 12 per cent saying they cannot afford to pay it. Only 28 per cent say the increased costs will have no impact on them.
Student accommodation is another issue that is raising concern. With rising rents, many students are finding the search for accommodation difficult. Around the country, average monthly rent has increased to €346 from €343 in 2013.