Clarity provided on when the Leaving Certificate results will be released is welcome, but the lateness of the publication date will have a negative impact on students, says the Union of Students in Ireland.
The long-awaited announcement by the State Examinations Commission confirmed that students will receive their results on September 2, with CAO offers expected on September 5.
Reacting to the announcement, USI Deputy President and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Megan O’Connor said: “This date – almost a month later than usual – is going to have a significant negative impact on students and higher education institutions across the country. It will have a hugely disruptive effect on students’ learning with the possibility of a shorter, more condensed first semester for first year students, who will probably lose out on reading weeks or institutions may have to delay first semester assessments until after the Christmas break.”
USI is demanding that this year’s Leaving Certificate students are afforded the time and opportunity to appeal their grades and consider second and third round offers.
Megan added: “There will be an incredibly tight timeline between results and the beginning of the academic year. Some students will likely be faced with the impossible choice of beginning college at orientation with their classmates or waiting for an appeal to try and gain entry into a higher preference course. It’s just more disruption after an extremely tough couple of years.”
Along with the academic effect on students, it will inevitably make it even harder for students to secure safe and affordable accommodation close to their chosen college.
Megan said: “The student accommodation crisis has been extremely heightened over recent years and this delay will put further pressure on students and their families. Over the past few years, we have seen students sleeping in cars and commuting up to six hours each day to attend their classes, because of the lack of affordable accommodation.”
“USI is committed to supporting all of our member organisations in navigating these difficulties over the coming months and urges the Department of Education to take the warnings and recommendations of the higher education sector seriously when preparing for the future to ensure we never again face these inexcusable and foreseen challenges.”