Southern universities 'short sighted' over A-Level decision

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Southern universities 'short sighted' over A-Level decision thumbnailPRINCIPAL of Our Lady's Grammar School, Fiona McAlinden. LB0631

PUPILS in local schools have been rejected from Irish universities due to the Irish Universities Association's (IUA) decision not to accept four A-Level subjects.
The affected subjects are Software Systems Development, Moving Image Arts, Digital Technology and Environmental Technology.
At least two of these subjects are on offer at Our Lady's, St Colman's, St Mary's and St Mark's in Warrenpoint.
The IUA said it classed the four A-Levels as "applied" A-Levels but it is hoped that the situation will be resolved next year.
IUA represents the Republic of Ireland's seven main universities; they are Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, NUI Galway, Maynooth University, University College Dublin, University of Limerick and Dublin City University.
The Principal of Our Lady's Grammar School, Fiona McAlinden, explained that Our Lady's offers Software Systems Development and Digital Technology, which has replaced ICT and not Applied ICT.
“CCEA have told us that Digital Technology is not an applied A-Level it's a general A-Level but the southern universities are saying that it's an applied A-Level and that's why they're rejecting it," she said.
“We're having to tell our GCSE students that when they're picking their A-Levels these courses might not be recognised and that could be very damaging to the numbers taking up the subjects and that's very disappointing for the teachers."
Ms McAlinden added that a number of the girls at Our Lady's have been left severely disappointed after the decision taken by the Irish universities, many of which were their first choice.
“That's their dream and that's what they're aiming for when they're trying to pass their A-Levels," she said. "It's good to have that focus and that goal and now that's been taken away from a number of them.
“The southern universities are being short sighted in not looking at those A-Levels but they said they will look at it again in 2018 and we're just hoping that they make the right decision."
In a statement the IUA said: "The seven universities have agreed to review the following four CCEA A-Level subjects for matriculation purposes, with a view to implementing any findings in time for the 2018 admissions cycle.
“Given the current stage of the 2017 admissions cycle, it is unfortunately not possible to make any changes to the information already published for this year."


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