Record Numbers Apply For Third Level Education


A record 76,081 applications to third level institutions in Ireland have been made in 2016, according to the official figures published by the Central Applications Office (CAO).

Courses linked to the construction, engineering and technology sectors, including architecture, have soared by 13% nationally.

There are other significant increases in nursing, law and business-related courses.

Maths related programmes have also recorded a rise in numbers across the country.

The overall increase represents a growth of 2% in applications, which matches similar rises in 2015 and 2014.

Applications to IT Sligo have mirrored the national trend with engineering and technology courses showing an increase in first preferences and mentions.

Students first preferences for the Institute’s Level 8 degree programmes are up 5.21% while Level 6/7 first preferences have increased by 2.45%.

Commenting on the CAO figures, Colin McLean, Registrar of IT Sligo said: “The increase in applications for programmes in engineering and technology is a reflection of where applicants believe the bulk of the future job prospects lie.”

“IT Sligo prides itself on offering students a standard of higher education, which is tailored to meet the current and future needs of industry in these sectors as the economy continues to recover.”

Nationally, there were a total of 10,280 applications from applicants over 23 years of age – down 483 on 2015.

The final number of CAO applications is likely to increase further as late applications will be accepted until May 1st.

The majority of applicants are entitled to change their course preference using the CAO’s ‘Change of Mind’ facility, which opens on May 5th.

“The number of students who did not fill out their course choices this year has increased by 5%,” says Colin McLean. “We would encourage them to research their options so that they select the course that suits them best.”

IT Sligo will hold its Course Info Day on Saturday, April 23rd, from 11am to 2:30pm.

The event will provide prospective students and their parents with meaningful advice on information on the range of course opportunities and facilities for the 2016/17 academic year.