College places and random selection

Sir, – Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris's plan to increase college places by an additional 1,000 places will not solve the problem associated with random selection ("CAO points on course to reach last year's record high", News, May 12th).

With record numbers applying for third-level courses, I fear that the lottery system of random selection is here to stay for those unfortunate students who miss out on their course choice (even with the maximum obtainable points). – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.

A chara, – That the future of Leaving Cert students could be decided by a lottery system is beyond belief.

Last year, four courses that maxed out at 625 points randomly selected the students that would and would not be granted entry, and now we hear that a similar system is likely to arise this autumn.

How is it equitable that a hypothetical student could receive the highest points possible and still miss out on their course?

This lottery system isn’t weighing up whether or not you win the Euromillions, it’s weighing up the future of young students’ lives.

This latest development has made an absolute mockery of an already appalling system.

The CAO system needs to be urgently overhauled before more young people fall victim to its cruel nature. – Is mise,


(Sixth-year student)


Co Galway