Ó Muilleoir calls for urgent action to ensure no Northern student is left behind
Sinn Féin MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has said revised admission criteria for Southern universities are “a mixed blessing” for local students wishing to study south of the border.
Mr Ó Muilleor said; “I’m delighted that changes in the criteria have led to a 22 per cent spike in applications from Northern students to study in the South but unfortunately some of our brightest students are losing out in the shake-up.“I have now written to An Taoiseach and the First and deputy First Ministers about the plight of several high-achieving students in my constituency who are being disadvantaged by the recent changes.“In the case of one student who leaves school in Belfast this year and whose ambition is to study Law with Politics at UCD. It is anticipated that she will need at least 520 CAO points to gain admittance to the School of Law at UCD. Previously, four As at A Level would have assured her admission."However, recent changes in entrance requirements for universities in relation to A-Level students make it harder for her to obtain a place in UCD as the value of her fourth A-Level has been reduced to one third of the points. The maximum points she can obtain with 4As at A-Level is 500 CAO points. Any high level entry course over 500 points cannot be achieved by gaining 4As."In recognition of this anomaly, Trinity College Dublin has agreed to set aside a minimum number of places for Northern students on all courses as part of a new feasibility scheme 'in light of their status under Article 2 of the Constitution of Ireland’. Others should follow their lead."I am calling on University College Dublin and other Southern universities to to rectify this situation by agreeing to admit a minimal number of Northern students to the high level entry courses (as Trinity is doing) or by increasing the points allocated for the fourth A-Level."