NUI Galway to award athletes extra CAO points

University will give 40 CAO points to a limited number of candidates

The points will be added to a minimum requirement of 350 points from a single sitting of the Leaving Cert in six subjects. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

The points will be added to a minimum requirement of 350 points from a single sitting of the Leaving Cert in six subjects. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 


The battle between universities to attract top young sports people intensified yesterday after NUI Galway confirmed it would award “performance points” to prospective students.

The university will award 40 CAO points to a limited number of athletes applying for undergraduate courses who meet strict criteria in specific sports.

The points will be added to a minimum requirement of 350 points from a single sitting of the Leaving Cert in six subjects. The closing date for applications is the end of March. NUI Galway joins UCD, DCU, UCC and UUJ, which all have schemes for awarding the extra points to talented athletes.

It is understood that the Galway university is, in addition, finalising a similar scheme for students in the areas of the arts and music. A spokesperson said: “This is under review and hopefully progress will be made in this area in the near future.”

Applicants for the performance points scheme will be assessed by application form and interview. The assessment will be based on sporting achievement and potential as well as evidence of academic achievement and commitment.

The successful candidates will receive conditional offers of the 40 performance points in May, prior to the Leaving Cert exams and CAO changes.

The performance points athletes will receive similar benefits to those enjoyed by the current NUI Galway elite athlete scholarship scheme. Benefits will include subsistence grants; performance and medical support; and gym membership.

Support will be provided for the duration of the undergraduate degree of the successful candidates and will be reviewed on an annual basis.

The scheme will apply only to new entrants applying for full-time undergraduate courses. Applicants must be under 21 on April 1st in the year of application. Only sports whose national governing body is recognised by the Irish Sports Council will be considered.