THE number of CAO offers from Donegal Atlantic Technological University (ATU) in Letterkenny has seen a significant increase.
It’s the first time CAO offers have been made since ATU (formerly LYIT) received university status earlier this year, making it one of Ireland’s largest multi-campus universities. Merging Galway -Mayo IT (GMIT), Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) and IT Sligo, the ATU opened its doors in its new format on April 1.
Speaking to the Donegal News, Fiona Kelly, Marketing Manager, Donegal ATU, revealed students with offers from other universities are looking to stay local to further their education.
“The number of CAO offers going out from Donegal ATU is a positive increase. It may be down to having university status, but we are seeing a ratio of one in two students staying with us.
“It’s a very positive picture. We have seen significant increases. We have been getting a lot of calls from people who have had offers from other universities who are now looking to see what options there are locally. Accommodation and the fact that some students don’t want to live away from home may be a factor in that.”
There are more than 130 programmes across three faculties of Business, Engineering and Technology, Science and Health. New CAO degree programme offerings include electric vehicle engineering, therapy and exercise rehabilitation and built environment.
Ms Kelly said as well as new courses, traditionally popular courses including veterinary nursing, nursing and physio remain strong across the board.
“Our programme offering is extensive and that is reflected in the ratio of one in two students opting to stay in Donegal. Local people are seeing they have all they need on their doorstep.”
For the applicants who sat this year’s Leaving Certificate, grade inflation is a factor, which has resulted in a squeeze on places. The adjustment was made to State exams, as courses rose by 60 points on average last year. The number of H1s in subjects like Higher Level Maths has increased from 6.4 per cent to 18 per cent since 2019.
In total, there were 57,296 CAO applicants, the Central Applications Office confirmed. Round one offers must be accepted by Wednesday. Round two offers will then be released at 10am on Monday, September 19.