Sinn Féin spokesperson for Further and Higher Education, Innovation and Science, Mairéad Farrell TD, has welcomed the publication of CAO offers and said she hopes that as many students as possible received their chosen courses. At the same time she had cautioned that the accommodation crisis will be a real source of concern for parents and students and they try to source somewhere to stay.
Teachta Farrell stated:
“Today will no doubt be a significant day in the lives of many young people who have finished secondary level education. For those who got their chosen courses, I wish them the very best and hope these courses meet their expectations.
“For those who have not received their chosen courses, I’d like to say that despite the dissapointment this is not the end of the world.
There are alternative means to pursuing a chosen career path for example undertaking an apprenticeship.
“Unfortunately for those who have gained access to third level institutions far from home, they will now have to grapple with the housing crisis.
“We still have a frightening lack of regulation when it comes to student “digs” accommodation. This has led to serious issues around a lack of privacy, which is a serious source of concern for young women. It’s high time there was regulations introduced to address this.
“Then of course there’s the general lack of supply, never mind affordable supply, of standard rental accommodation. The high costs of rent forces many students to work almost full time just to afford to keep a roof over their head.
“It’s difficult for third level institutions to deliver on the required demand and provide accommodation that is affordable given their current funding model. We need a new model of delivery with affordbaility at its core. This is something I plan to look at in the coming year.
“Lastly, I want to flag the difficulty for those from the north accessing third level places in the south, and the inflated CAO points and the manner in which the A-Levels are assessed, stymies them from studying in the south.
“The current model makes the access of courses by students from the north incredibly difficult. We have fantastic universities offering so much to our student population. It is essential that these same opportunities are open to all those on this island. Our future will be the better for it.”