Higher Options: Ireland’s largest college fair hosts thousands at RDS

Representatives of universities and third-level colleges and institutions that cater for all levels are present

The Student Hub at the Higher Options conference at the RDS today.

The Student Hub at the Higher Options conference at the RDS today.

 

* Click here to sign up for Leaving Cert and CAO-related Higher Options newsletter service

The Irish Times Higher Options 2018, the country’s largest college expo for second-level students, is under way at the RDS Simmonscourt in Dublin.

As many as 25,000 students are expected to attend the event this year as they prepare to make key decisions about what and where they will study upon completing the Leaving Cert.

More than 160 colleges, universities and institutes of further education from Ireland and across Europe are represented at Higher Options 2018, which takes place at the RDS Simmonscourt until Friday.

The expo is an opportunity for students to speak directly with representatives of universities and third-level colleges and institutions that cater for all levels.

Students can attend talks, speak directly with guidance counsellors, and seek advice from experts on third-level funding as well as representatives from all the main Irish universities and colleges.

Despite fears that Brexit’s impact on Ireland’s future relationship with UK several UK colleges are also present as well as representatives from European colleges in France, the Netherlands, Sweden and Poland.

Students attending are urged to plan ahead and to prepare their questions in advance. Questions could include queries about the cost of living where the college is located, what the admission requirements are, what are the class sizes, what is the retention rate and so on. (A Higher Options checklist can be found here).

Topics covered during lectures at this year’s event include talks about the CAO application process, careers in Stem, nursing and midwifery and art and design. Speakers will also give talks on how the student grant process (Susi) works and speakers will also provide information on how to go about studying in Oxford and Cambridge, as well as further afield.

For students who cannot make it to Higher Options, The Irish Times provides a newsletter service for senior secondary students (irishtimes.com/hiopsignup) - where they can sign up to receive a series of emails throughout the year featuring stories and advice from The Irish Times education team about the CAO, Leaving Cert, career guidance and other topics.

* Click here to download a pdf of the floor plan for Higher Options 2018