NUI Galway has witnessed significant increases in the number of points required to gain a place on an undergraduate course at the university.
CAO first round offers were released this Monday, both to the delight and despair of almost 81,000 students nationwide. While NUI Galway has highlighted the positives of the rising points threshold, and the popularity of particular courses available on its campus, the rising points will also be a worrying trend for future students as they look to enter third-level education.
Points across courses in all five of the university's faculties have risen, with points for at least 17 courses upwards of 450, and eight of which are 500 points and above. Degrees in commerce have seen growth over a number of years, with newly-formed course Commerce (Global Experience ) entering the CAO with a 500 point requirement.
NUI Galway’s admissions officer, Stephen O’Dea, said, "For the fourth year running, NUI Galway’s courses in commerce have seen a steady increase in their points indicating a continued growth in interest in these areas. International commerce programmes continue to be a popular choice for students with a global outlook, and the strong performance of the new Commerce (Global Experience ) confirms this."
Biosciences and biomedical sciences also increased in popularity and demand, and this was documented by the points afforded to specific courses.
"NUI Galway’s strength and reputation in biosciences is also reflected with biomedical science continuing to perform well [530 points] and biopharmaceutical chemistry maintaining its 500 points entry requirement," said O'Dea. "There has been a steady interest in the financial mathematics and economics programme at 485 points. This is reflective of a growing confidence in the national and international economies and financial markets, and growth in employment opportunities therein, both at home and abroad."
The rising points tally in certain areas, will also combat the declining points and interest in other areas. A total of 33 undergraduate courses fell between five and 80 points, with the BA (Gaeilge agus léann an aistriúcháin ) course being the one outlier, falling by 110. Many of the courses which witnessed drastic points changes are speciality courses, which accept small groups of up to 40 students per year.
To assist high-achieving school leavers from Ireland’s newest communities, such as refugees, to achieve their third-level goals, NUI Galway has established a new national pilot scheme, the Inclusive Centenaries Scholarship. It will allow four students places on a new merit-based scholarship, with applications open until Friday September 2. Visit www.nuigalway.ie/scholarships for more details.
"Incoming students will be well placed to benefit from NUI Galway’s significant and ongoing capital investment programme and its fostering of innovation, entrepreneurship, and research," added O'Dea. "NUI Galway is a diverse community and this year we are delighted to provide scholarship support to benefit members of Ireland’s newest communities to help to realise their full potential."
Other significant movers were the BA with creative writing which continues to attract a great deal of interest with the points increasing by 20 to 445. Arts (mathematics and education ) has increased in demand with a 25 point rise to 435. Computer science and information technology remains popular, maintaining its 2015 points requirement of 425, as do business information systems at 430 points, and commerce (accounting ) at 460 points.
Entry into the medicine programme requires 723 points (including HPAT ), the same as 2015, general nursing finished at 445, psychiatric nursing at 415, and midwifery at 440. Both of NUI Galway’s therapy programmes, occupational, and speech and language, finished at 530 points. For more information, and up to date numbers, visit http://www.nuigalway.ie, or call the student hotline on 091 493999.