A fair system for college entry

 

Sir, – I am due to sit my Leaving Cert in 2014. As such, I will be among the first potential Law students subjected to Trinity College Dublin’s new application system (Home News, August 21st).

Relying on “teacher references” shall be detrimental to those students who (under an education structure determined to concentrate power in the hands of teachers, leaving students impotent) stand up for themselves and their peers, who question aspects of the “system” and who challenge injustice in the wielding of authority. In other words, those students who would be best suited to the study of Law. – Yours, etc,

ALAN EUSTACE,

Annadale Drive,

Marino,

Dublin 9.

Sir, – With reference to proposals for changes to the CAO system (“Universities propose radical changes to college entry”, Front page. August 21st). A hint at a possible solution to the failings identified by the university presidents is hidden on the homepage of the CAO itself: “The higher education institutions in the Republic of Ireland have delegated to CAO the task of processing centrally applications to their first year undergraduate courses”.

Rather than bemoaning the inefficiencies of the current system, could the universities not re-assume responsibility for processing their own applications?  By so doing, they would regain control over the calibre of student entering their courses, and the Leaving Cert would cease to be the object of an unseemly and counterproductive scramble for points, and might even become, in time, the culmination of a more student-centred education.

Tinkering at the edges, like this year’s debacle with bonus points for maths, will only lead to further unforeseen consequences, exacerbating the system’s inequities.

Let the universities set entry criteria for their courses, based on whatever attitudes, aptitudes and academic standards they identify as key to success, and let schools get back to educating students rather than helping them to pick their numbers for this ludicrous lottery. – Yours, etc,

ELLEN DILLON,

Ardpatrick,

Co Limerick.