Towards a New Admission System
Jun 15, 2012
The recent major international conference on admissions, held in the Trinity Long Room Hub on May 18th last, can now be viewed online at http://www.tcd.ie/undergraduate-studies/. The conference, Undergraduate Admissions for the 21st Century, was opened by the new Secretary-General of the Department of Education and Skills, Seán Ó Fóghlú, and panellists included representatives from the HEA, the NCCA, and the CAO, the seven Irish universities, and the Institutes of Technology, as well as experts from Australia, the United States, and the UK.
Addressing the conference, TCD Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast, repeated his “unambiguous pledge” to reform the admissions system and consider new ways of admitting students to university. He expressed his belief that “the points system fails some of our best students, and that higher education can and should be transformative for the life of each individual student”. Noting that students “are being failed by the system” because in some cases they do not get a place on any third-level course, he argued that: “This is a shocking waste of potential, and it's deeply unfair to the individual”. The Provost concluded his address by insisting that: “This new generation must be more globally competitive than ever – they deserve an education system that is prepared to recognise and reward creativity, leadership, and independent-thinking”.
Following on from the conference, Trinity is developing a number of pilot admission schemes which will attempt to assess potential, motivation, and suitability for course, alongside academic ability as measured by the current points system. As the Provost has indicated “a new generation demands that we do everything we can to rebuild our economy and our society. Reforming university admissions is a great place to start”.
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