IrelandMorning Briefing

Thursday’s Top Stories: Mental health pressures among issues as student dropouts rise; recovering from heart failure at 36

The stories you need to start your day including; Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin on Ireland’s shameful history of attempting to hide away single mothers, and boy (10) dies after crash

College dropout rates climb amid concern over student mental health

College dropout rates have increased significantly amid signs that more students are struggling with issues such as mental health, long-distance commuting and financial pressures.

Data released by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) shows the number of students who did not progress from first to second year increased from 9 per cent in 2019/2020, or 3,600 students, to 15 per cent in 2021/2022, or almost 7,000 students,

While dropout rates fell to an all-time low during Covid – when colleges put in place supports such as open-book exams and remote lectures for students – the fact that they now exceed pre-pandemic levels of 12-13 per cent will be a concern to universities.

Top News Stories

The latest from Health

  • ‘I felt like I was going to die’: Recovering from early heart failure at the age of 36: With no history of health problems and a busy, active life, the very notion that he might get sick had never entered Mohammed Ladfil’s mind. So, when he developed a series of recurring chest infections during the summer of 2023, he went to his GP, who, each time prescribed medication. But instead of curing his symptoms, they appeared to get worse and one night he found himself struggling to breathe, so his partner called an ambulance, and he was rushed to hospital.

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The best from Opinion

Today's Business

  • My Wedding Whizz: Irish firm using AI and fintech to streamline wedding planning and digital gifting: Some of the best ideas for new businesses are inspired by personal experience. When Laura Downes found herself trying to keep track of cash and gift cards at a friend’s wedding, she decided there had to be a better way. Downes started off looking for a solution to the money problem, but quickly discovered that wedding planning as a whole was ripe for a shake-up. In 2021 she teamed up with co-founder Orla McDonnell and their idea for the integrated digital wedding planning platform, My Wedding Whizz, was born.

Top Sports news

  • World Indoor Athletics: Sarah Healy and Sarah Lavin targeting finals as some Irish big names skip event: Every major championship begins with the hope that anything can happen if you make the final. It helps that at a World Indoor Athletics Championships, where events are invariably decided on tighter margins, that anything often does happen. For the small Irish team of just 10 athletes, contesting six events, that’s the main hope too going into the 19th edition of the championships, which get under way in Glasgow on Friday morning. And it may come down to a tale of two Sarahs.

Martyn Turner

Martyn Turner Cartoon

Culture and Life & Style Highlights

Leap year day

  • The extra leap year day is upon us: what will you do with yours?: This is the year of the Extra Day. For some reason, it has been stuck onto the still-wintry month of February, instead of giving us a 31st of June, or a 32nd of August, when the days are long and bright. Anyway, those born on the 29th of February are collectively known as “Leaplings”. They must face headaches when filling out online forms that require a date of birth.
  • ‘We were a bit of a novelty’: The four leap year children in one Dublin family: Despite just a 1 in 1,461 chance of being born on leap day, not only does Patricia O’Shea have a twin but she has two other siblings, again twins, who were born four years before her on the exact same date - February 29th.

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