29th April 2015 - IUA response to the launch on 29th April 2015 of reforms to Leaving Certificate Grades and CAO Points System by Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan T.D.

Irish Universities Association


29th April 2015

The Irish Universities Association (IUA) welcomes and supports the announcement, by Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan T.D, of the most significant reform of Leaving Certificate grades and the points system in the last 20 years.

Prof. Philip Nolan, President of Maynooth University and chairperson of the university task group which is working on these topics, said “The universities are delighted to have worked closely with the Department of Education and Skills and a range of other stakeholders in preparing these reforms. We believe these will serve students well and will enhance both their second and third level learning experiences”.

The main changes announced today are:

  • A new grading system for the Leaving Certificate – reducing the number of grades from the current 14 to 8
  • Proposals for a revised common points scale for entry into higher education
  • Broader undergraduate entry to high education programmes
  • An analysis of predictability in the Leaving Certificate

The changes in the new Leaving Certificate grading system require a new common points scale, both to address the reduction in the number of LC grades and also to minimise random selection in the event of students achieving the same points score.

A set of proposals in this regard will be discussed by the Academic Council of each university, with full details available in September 2015.

The universities are continuing to progress the development of broader undergraduate entry routes, based on the set of principles agreed by each Academic Council in 2013. These developments are linked to curricular and pedagogical reforms taking place across the university sector, aimed at ensuring high quality provision of undergraduate education to a growing and increasingly diverse student population.