Fine Gael Seanad Education Spokesperson Fidelma Healy-Eames has questioned whether the number of college places for science and maths subjects has fallen, following steep rises in points for these subjects.
Following the unprecedented rise in points Senator Healy-Eames stated that: “Ireland’s future depends on having a solid skills base in science and maths-related areas. However, after all the promotion and encouragement to go in this direction, many students will be unable to study these subjects this year due to the extraordinary increase in points at many colleges.”
Senator Healy-Eames points to the fact that the points for a maths course at Trinity College has risen by almost 20 per cent. “The maths course at Trinity College Dublin has risen by some 70 points to 485. This represents a 17 per cent increase. Similarly, UCD’s science degree programme has seen a rise of 50 points to 435,” she says.
She believes that students who studied hard all year are now deeply disillusioned that the original points tally they had targeted will not be enough to guarantee them a place on their chosen course.She concluded by questioning the number of places available for students wishing to study in the maths and science sectors. “The key question is whether the number of science and maths places has actually fallen, driving up the entry requirements in the process.
“Education Minister Mary Coughlan gave me a commitment in the Education Committee this year that there would be no reduction in college places for these subjects. But I have serious concerns that this commitment has not been kept,” she concluded.