THIRD level institutions in Limerick are growing in popularity among school leavers with a number of courses seeing a growth in applications, resulting in an increase in CAO points.
Almost half of all programmes at the University of Limerick saw an increase in entry level points, while the Liberal Arts degree at Mary Immaculate College recorded a massive 52 per cent increase in first preferences.
At UL, many of the largest points increases were registered among its science programmes; Chemical and Biochemical Engineering is up 50 points this year to 470, while Food Science and Health rose 30 points to 415.
The national trend towards smart economy and IT skills can be seen in the growing demand for UL’s innovative programmes, with Mobile Communications and Security, Health Informatics and Product Design and Technology recording marked increases.
Other areas recording points increases at UL included engineering, business, humanities, healthcare, education and sports science.
UL vice president academic and registrar, Professor Paul McCutcheon, commented: “Almost half of our programmes have shown an increase in entry level points illustrating the continued demand for the innovative programmes on offer at UL. It is encouraging to see an increase in demand for UL’s STEM programmes as we are committed to supporting Ireland’s success as a knowledge economy by encouraging larger numbers of students to study science, technology, and engineering.”
Mary Immaculate College maintained its appeal to those wishing to study education or the liberal arts with all four programmes showing an increase in applications, coupled with a 16 per cent increase in students who chose MIC as their first preference.
The college’s primary teaching programme remains one of the most popular in the country with over 2249 applications received for its 405 places, resulting in CAO points being set at 465 for this year.
The BEd in Education and Psychology, the only course of its kind in the country, sees its CAO points set at 550 as it continues to attract the country’s highest achievers.
Due to the significant increase in first preferences for the Liberal Arts degree, MIC increased the number of places by 20 per cent.
Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) saw a 13 per cent rise in applications for its degree courses this year.
Applications increased across LIT’s business, information technology, tourism and sports programmes.
“It is particularly heartening to see a surge in applications for Built Environment courses this year, commented LIT vice president for strategy and external affairs Michael O’Connell.
“The construction sector has been through a difficult time, but the message that its recovery in the years ahead will need qualified and skilled professionals in for example quantity surveying, civil engineering and property valuation is being heard.”