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Statement from THEA following release of CAO offers

Posted on: 11 Sep 2020

On behalf of the Presidents of the Institutes of Technology, THEA congratulates all students who were furnished with offers today through the CAO system.

The 2020 accreditation of learning and admissions process into higher education has been singular.  In a difficult year where hard choices have had to be made, we can attest that every possible step has been taken to ensure equity and fairness during the process of determining calculated grades and the subsequent CAO allocation process. 

The Institutes of Technology are unique in the higher education system as they are central to supporting the broadening of access; up to 50% of entrants into our institutions present with elements of either a previous year’s Leaving Certificate result or a Further Education qualification.  We have been working closely with the new Department of Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation, & Science and the new Minister Simon Harris TD to ensure that, as far as possible, the principles of fairness and equity are applied to all applicants.    

We support the Minister’s comments that there are many and varied routes into and through higher education.  As with all previous years, we encourage students to consider carefully all their options, including their Level 6/7 offers and other pathways, that will be open to them in this extraordinary year.  

The CEO of THEA, Dr Joseph Ryan, stated: “The system as a whole, including the relevant departments, the HEA, the institutions, and the CAO, has worked cohesively to offer additional places and increased opportunity to all applicants in recognition of the particular challenges attaching to those seeking admission to higher education this year.  While the pandemic has forced necessary alterations, the shared determination remains to support the ambition of the many who are about to embark on a learning journey that will be as fulfilling as that experienced by entrants in any other year.  The Technological Sector has supported this through making available hundreds of extra places across all relevant Levels of the National Framework and in a diverse range of disciplines.” 



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