The parent of one student said he was shocked to find that a O6 was considered a greater academic achievement than a H7. Photograph: Getty Images

Number of courses where ‘random selection’ is used to limit entry falls by more than half

With  the student registration charge  at €3,000, the rising cost of accommodation is putting many parents and students under pressure. Photograph: Getty Images

Almost 40 students ended up in cars or on friends’ couches, new survey finds

Students from CUS in Dublin’s city centre celebrate their Leaving Cert results. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Fall due to fewer applicants and recent reforms in exam grading and points system

Some 80,766 applicants have applied for a place in higher education this year through the CAO system. Photograph: Eric Luke

Points rise in construction, architecture, law and business as economy grows

Kate Collins, from Clontarf in Dublin, got 8 H1s in her Leaving Cert. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Maths is one of just six subjects at higher level where male students performed better

Many parents and students are under the misapprehension that colleges set the points requirements for each course

New grading system means there is uncertainty over the points scores needed

“There is very clear evidence from the State Examinations Commission that some students are taking a risk to get bonus points, and they are at the bottom end of maths standards.” Photograph: Getty Images

University president says significant number of students struggling to cope with step up

Muhammad Mahmoud (17), from Ballycullen in Dublin 24, with his mother Dr Ayda Elkhalifa. The Ashfield College is one of 13 students nationally to  score eight grade ones at higher level.

Muhammad Mahmoud (17), whose parents are from Sudan, hopes to study medicine

Minister for Education Richard Bruton. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister says this year's changes reward students who take chance to do higher level

Aoife Moore and Ciara Curley as they get their Leaving Certificate results and at Maryfield College, Whitehall. Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Number of high achievers increases significantly over last year

The surge in the numbers taking higher level and the dramatic fall-off in failure rates may suggest that the new system is simply a “dumbing down” of the old one.  Archive photograph: Students at The Kings Hospital Secondary School in Palmerstown sitting a Leaving Cert exam.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Authorities insist there has been no ‘dumbing down’ of the system

The State Examinations Commission insists there has been no change in the exam standards of the Leaving Cert. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Leaving Cert 2017: Authorities deny higher level exams are being ‘dumbed down’

New Leaving Cert grading system: one of the biggest changes is an old E grade is no longer an automatic fail: under the new system students get 37 points for grades between 30-39 per cent (a H7 under the new system). Photograph:  David Davies/PA

Reforms to Leaving Cert grade names and bands aim to take heat out of points race

Education experts have warned that Brexit could lead to increases in CAO points over the coming years if thousands of Irish students who study in the UK opt to remain at home. Photograph: Getty Images

Tens of thousands of students await Leaving Cert results and release of points requirements

Mike Jennings, general secretary of the Irish Federation of University Teachers:  “Any suggestion of introducing a teaching excellence framework-based approach in Ireland will further demoralise our universities.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Lecturers call for increased funding for third level amid deteriorating staff-student ratios

There is a ‘disjointed’ approach to the way more than €800m is being spent on further education courses, a Government review has found. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Government survey criticises method of disbursing €800m in funding for courses

John Dee, a fabrication technician from Listowel, Co Kerry. He secured a job after completing a post-Leaving Cert course earlier this year.

Case study: A post-Leaving Cert course helped John Dee back into workforce

Trinity College Dublin provost Patrick Prendergast has said it appeared Brexit was playing a key role in more international students considering Ireland as a place to study. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The rise in overseas applications could force colleges to cap places for Irish students

Prof Patrick O’Shea, president of University College Cork. Photograph: Tomas Tyner

UCC president Patrick O’Shea reports 40% rise in international applications to the university

Teenagers from India, the US and Ireland are gathering in Kildare this week for Foróige’s “leadership for life” youth conference.   The conference brings together young people to learn how to become leaders in their own communities.

Maynooth hosts event international conference for 15 to 18-year-olds

Former taoiseach Brian Cowen, who was conferred an honorary degree by the National University of Ireland, with former taoiseach Bertie Ahern after the conferring ceremony. Photograph: Alan Betson

Edward Walsh joins criticism of NUI for granting doctorate

Sophia Byrne Singh from Dublin who joined childcare workers outside the Department of Finance earlier this month where postcards from the dole were delivered to Minister Paschal Donohoe to highlight the precarious contracts and lack of state investment for early years sector. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Oireachtas report finds lack of investment results in high childcare costs for parents

A spokeswoman for the Department said a revised national annual graduate outcomes survey is being drafted, which is due to be in place by next year.

Growing student numbers and reduced staffing placing quality of graduates ‘at risk’

Authorities have been unable to reliably track whether individuals are progressing into higher education and employment, or ending up on the live register or unemployment

Government report finds State unable to monitor progress of many in further education

Tracey Daly sign language interpterting at  the   Centre for Excellence in Universal Design. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Analysis: State is playing catch-up in education policy after years of neglect

ASTI president Ed Byrne at the union’s  convention last month. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

ASTI members’ salaries jump by up to €2,500 after suspension of industrial action

Students’ union at UCD and Trinity are promoting “digs” as a way of reducing pressure on students in a difficult rental market. Photograph: Getty Images

House with 15 beds and single bathroom features among properties for rent

A new student accommodation development under construction on Mill Street, Dublin 8. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

USI says purpose-built housing is out of reach for vast majority of new third-level entrants

NUI Galway (above) had the lowest proportion of women at professor grade (12 per cent), while University of Limerick had the highest (31 per cent)

Only 21% of professors are women, with no female university head in 400 years

Jane Ohlmeyer: “Mediocre men are outperforming outstanding women because of the nature of the system.” File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Financial rewards and penalties required for issue to be taken seriously - TCD academic

New figures released by the Higher Education Authority show that while about 50%  of lecturers in Irish universities are women, only 21%  of professors are women. Photograph: Getty Images

Women are significantly under-represented in senior roles at colleges

 Third-level colleges are set to face heavy financial penalties for serious breaches. File photograph: PA

HEA proposals would punish third-level institutions for serious financial breaches

Richard Bruton has said: ‘It is reasonable to ask employers to contribute more, as their future success depends so much on the capacity of the education sector to respond to their needs.’ Photograph: Sam Boal

Richard Bruton to give businesses more input in exchange for increases in payroll taxes

Teachers protest last May to highlight the case for equal pay, in a demonstration organised by the INTO and TUI. File photograph: Kenneth O’Halloran

INTO’s executive had urged ‘no’ vote over failure to tackle pay equality among teachers

Portraits of president of Cork Institute of Technology Dr Brendan Murphy and former chair of its governing body Dr Paddy Caffrey.

College carrying €1m deficit faces criticism over paintings of president and chairman

Certain students from the UCC business information systems course are alleged to have “outsourced” key aspects of a final-year project which involved computer coding, according to college sources. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

College confirms it is looking into possible breach of examination procedures

Minister for Education  Richard Bruton: various measures taken by the Government meant it had gone about 75 per cent of the way towards restoring pay equality for teachers appointed since 2011. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Pay equality between established and new teachers emerges as key issue for profession

Richard Bruton, Minister for Education, speaking with Peter Cassells, chairman of the Expert Group on Future funding for Higher Education. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Labour to table motion seeking abolition of student registration charge

Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane, a member of the PAC, said it appeared that some accounting officers were running colleges as it was the “wild west”. File photograph: Eric Luke

Public Accounts Committee report critical of corporate governance failures

Public accounts committee: the University of Limerick (above), NUI Galway, University College Cork, Dublin Institute of Technology, Waterford Institute of Technology and Cork Institute of Technology all come in for criticism

Public accounts committee highly critical of failure to declare private income

Catholic school managers say it is “over-prescriptive” to have to set out details of arrangements for students who do not wish to attend religious instruction.

New Bill will require schools to set out their provisions for non-religious students

Minister for Education Richard Bruton attends  the turning of the sod at the new Maynooth Education Campus, the largest ever single school building project. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Education campus in Maynooth will provide school places for 2,000 secondary pupils

Ombudsman Dr Niall Muldoon says the issue of children of no faith, or a different faith, being ‘exposed to religious influence’ in Catholic state-funded schools must still be addressed. Photograph: Eric Luke

Legislation yet to be examined by Attorney General

Minister for Education Richard Bruton. Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister announces plans to remove religious critera in Catholic school admissions

While some exams can attract up to 3,000 complaints from students and parents, the new English paper resulted in a single phone call. Photograph: Getty Images

Concern over length of paper sparked petition by 12,000 students prior to exam

 The move to end religious discrimination in admissions to Catholic schools is a belated recognition that our education system needs to catch up with the reality of modern life. File photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Analysis: Removal of ‘Baptism barrier’ latest step in fight for equality-based school system

Minister for Education Richard Bruton told an Oireachtas committee that he plans to remove the “baptism barrier” in admission to Catholic schools. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minority faith primary schools will retain capacity to accept pupils on faith grounds

Concerns have been raised over the number of boys aged 12-16 who are being suspended or expelled from schools. Photograph: iStock

Pupils banned from class on over 13,000 occasions with 145 expulsions, committee hears

Blackrock College, Dublin: “Rockmen” were urged to join together to defeat the plans. Photograph: Eric Luke

The changes take aim at policies of such schools, but little will change on the ground

The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation  and Teachers’ Union of Ireland executives have already recommended to their members that they reject the deal. Photograph; Getty Images

ASTI’s standing committee recommends rejection of proposed public sector pay deal

Blackrock past-pupils have lobbied against an “old school tie” provision in new legislation. Photograph: Eric Luke

‘Old school tie’ provision will limit places for past-pupils to no more than 25%

Dr Barry O’Connor   will succeed Dr Brendan Murphy, who has served as president since 2004. Photograph: Darragh Kane

Dr Barry O’Connor says third-level requires extra financial support from specific departments

While exams will be marked anonymously, name will continue to be used for  any form of assessment other than the formal written exam. Photograph: Patrick Henehan

Anonymous marking was pledged 13 years ago but was never followed through - union

The volume of students modifying their course selection in the days before the CAO deadline has risen sharply in recent years, sparking a flurry of marketing  among higher education institutions and professional bodies. Photograph: Getty Images

Change of mind: Applicants being drawn to courses linked to areas of the growing economy

Siofra Cox, a teacher at the Convent of Mercy in Roscommon, said the Leaving Cert music exams at both higher and ordinary levels were “very clear and straightforward”. Photograph: iStockphoto

‘All compositions in major key so students had no opportunity to be melancholy’

Senior officials from several colleges appeared before the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee to answer questions over unauthorised severance packages, conflicts of interest and poor corporate governance.

DIT president regrets not providing committee with ‘highly critical’ report of managment failures

The president of DIT, Prof Brian Norton, has been accused by TDs of withholding a sensitive report commissioned by DIT’s governing body into the loss of more than €700,000. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Senior third-level college officials will appear before the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee to face allegations that they misled (...)

Professor Brian Norton, president, DIT: a spokeswoman  confirmed that he provided the PAC with the EY report in recent weeks.   Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

TDs accuse college of misleading members over serious management failures

An Chéim was established as a subsidiary company of DIT  to provide a range of IT services to institutes of technology.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

An Chéim’s board conducted ‘forensic analysis’ of services provided to tech company

Professor Brian Norton, president, DIT: was directed by the DIT governing body to furnish the Public Accounts Committee with the EY report. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

External report finds lack of management oversight and breaches in purchasing policy

Vivaldi’s Spring (1st movement) featured as the set work in the listening section of Wednesday’s Junior Cert exam. Photograph: iStock

Vivaldi’s ‘Spring’ strikes the right note for most students on a hot summer’s day

The draft legislation is aimed at making admissions to schools fairer and more transparent. Photograph: Istock

Oireachtas committee also recommends accessible alternatives to religious classes

The Junior Cert materials technology (wood) exam was worth just a third of marks, with the remainder resting on practical work completed by students earlier in the year. Photo: iStock

Teachers happy with range of questions and quality of graphics

Technical graphics: many Junior Cert students found themselves under “extreme time pressure” to complete today’s higher-level exam. Photo: iStock

Higher-level candidates report a lack of time to complete the paper

A 2016 study from Germany shows teachers expected lower performances from their Turkish students in German and maths. Photograph: iStock

Achievement gap is ‘not large’ compared to many other developed countries

Leo Varadkar on his way into talks with Fianna Fáil in 2016 on forming a government, at Trinity College in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Election marks a milestone in ‘normalising’ an institution once linked to Protestant elite

“State Examinations Commission has made an effort to make the paper as topical as possible.” Photograph: iStock

Paper provided a good chance for applicants to apply their knowledge to current affairs

The State Examinations Commission is investigating the publication of a Leaving Cert paper on a Facebook page. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Images of paper posted to Facebook group for teachers shortly after exam began

Efforts to provide greater choice for parents have proven slow and divisive. Photograph: Getty Images

Kerry school under Catholic patronage to be re-opened as a community national school

Pupils of Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Uí Choileáin in Clonakilty, Co Cork. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

An Foras Pátrúnachta is to introduce a new multidenominational model in its schools

ASTI president Ed Byrne has said the union will now ‘move inside the tent’ of the Lansdowne Road pay deal. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Calls for leadership figures to resign after members vote to suspend industrial action

 ASTI members at the union meeting in Citywest Hotel. Many members were angry with what they saw as a hard-line leadership focused on conflict rather than compromise. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Analysis: Anger over new entrants’ pay may lead resumption in hostilities next autumn

Long-awaited report raises concerns that staff shortages could place the quality of tuition at risk. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Unions say emigration of young Irish teachers a key factor behind shortages

Trinity College Library: TCD welcomed its higher ranking which placed it in the top 1% of universities worldwide. Photograph: The Irish Times

UCD says it may need to ‘reduce number of places to Irish students to preserve quality’

Mixed reaction to the first paper of the new Junior Cycle English curriculum

About 3,750 examiners are needed to mark written exams this year

Junior and Leaving Cert gets under way for more than 120,000 students

The rising numbers reflect an increase in migrant parents who moved here over the past decade and a half. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

726 students enter for the Polish exam – the most popular non-curricular subject

State Examinations Commission in Athlone where Leaving  and Junior Cert exam scripts are sorted for distribution. Photograph: Alan Betson

Students aim to take advantage of CAO reforms as 121,000 prepare for exams

 Educate Together schoolchildren protest for a bigger school in Ballinteer during the week: places in Educate Together schools are highly sought-after. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney Collins

Lead-in time should mean any parent with a child’s on a list is unlikely to be affected

Who will be marking the State exams? urgent appeal issued for markers

Authorities issue appeal to working, retired and newly qualified teachers

Earlier this year, Minister for Education Richard Bruton announced a proposal to raise an additional €200 million for the sector through increases in employer’s PRSI to the national training fund. Photograph: Istock

Ministers Richard Bruton and Paschal Donohoe say increase in employers’ levy needed to tackle ‘crisis’ in funding

Student finalists at last year’s Enactus Ireland event. The programme is aimed at celebrating social entreneurship among students.

Enactus Ireland event recognises students’ efforts to to support marginalised people in the community

Schoolchildren from Ballinteer Educate Together during a protest at Leinster House, Dublin, over delays in providing a new school building. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Pupils at south Dublin school have been using temporary accommodation since 2012

Students at Belvedere College, Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Waiting lists to be phased out within three to five years as part of admission reforms

The international school, which will cater for up to 800 students, will be based in a €20 million office block formerly used by Microsoft close to the Leopardstown Racecourse. Photograph: Carl O’Brien

Dublin school’s fees to cost about €20,000 a year, making it most expensive State school

Baptism barrier: the catchment-area proposal is one of several solutions Minister for Education Richard Bruton has put forward. Photograph: iStock/Getty

Catholic-backed move would require new laws and boundary-dispute adjudication

Minister for Education Richard Bruton. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Minister for Education backing ‘reforming, decisive, imaginative’ Varadkar as leader

Minister for Education Richard Bruton has said he is to hold a forum on Monday as part of the final stages of a consultation process over his plans to reform school admission policy rules. Photograph: Jason Clarke

Minister says school admission reforms must respect desire of religious for special schools

The international school, which will cater for up to 800 students, will be based in a €20 million office block formerly used by Microsoft close to the Leopardstown racecourse. Photograph: Carl O’Brien

International school’s European rates for second-level typically run to €20,000 a year

Glenstal Abbey  School is an example of how many schools in the fee-paying sector are rebounding after a few turbulent years. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

New figures show pupil numbers in fee-paying schools are set to reach boom-time highs

DCU professor Brian MacCraith says the modern workplace increasingly requires citizens with transferable skills who are “resilient and adaptable, and capable of reflective and critical thinking”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

DCU initiative part of trend among universities to focus on employability of graduates

Dr Des Fitzgerald: Has outlined his plans to put new management and governance systems in place. Photograph: The Irish Times

President says ‘anaemic’ management may have played role in way claims handled

Two suspended whistleblowers in UL’s finance department said they were looking forward to co-operating fully with the review. Photograph: Press 22

College’s governance, human resources and financial practices to be examined

Most teachers are contractually obliged to provide classroom cover for teachers who are sick or involved in school activities such as games and field trips

Warning from Department of Education ratchets up tension in long-running dispute

The Christian Brothers are planning to sell two-thirds of the sports pitches, 7.5 acres of land surrounding Clonkeen College in Blackrock, Dublin, to help fund its financial commitments to the State.

Anger among parents as 7.5 acres of land at Clonkeen College is to be put up for sale

The numbers taking on apprenticeships plummeted during the recession, falling from about 29,000 to just above 5,700 in 2013. Photograph: iStock

Low take-up contrasts with Germany where 60% of students take up ‘earn-and-learn’ options

Leona O’Callaghan pictured in the University of Limerick. Photograph: Brian Gavin/Press 22

Claiming expenses: ‘If you were on the VIP list you played by different rules’

The UCC campus. Several universities, including UCC, have tens of millions of euro in private trusts and foundations which they have resisted declaring in their accounts. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Audits also reveal extra payments to staff and non-compliance with procurement rules

Applicants who hold primary teaching qualifications  awarded outside Europe must apply to have their qualifications assessed by the Teaching Council. Photograph: iStock

The Teaching Council determines if qualifications meet criteria under Irish legislation

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