A total of 400-450 new CAO offers will be made arising from the Leaving Cert calculated grades computer coding debacle.
he figure covers offers at both Level 8 (honours degree) and Level 7/6, and up to one in four will be for places in Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin).
The Central Applications Office (CAO) will issue the offers to Leaving Cert 2020 candidates on Thursday, in tandem with other Round 4 offers.
Full details of the places will not be known until then but there are quite a number for teaching-related courses.
On the other hand, it is understood that the upgrades will not lead to a surge of offers for Medicine.
The maximum number of new offers for any single course will not be more than eight to 10.
Individual colleges are now working through their capacity to make offers for the current year, but it is understood that the scale of the offering – less than half the potential 1,000 mentioned last week – has not caused alarm in the sector.
Higher Education Minister Simon Harris tweeted today that he was meeting the Higher Education Authority (HEA) at lunchtime.
The HEA is writing to colleges and asking them to advise if there are any particular difficulties.
The pattern of expected offers reflects reports that a lot of upgrades were in the middle space rather than at the upper end from H2 to H1.
Some 6,100 students have been advised that a grade in one or more subjects has increased, after corrections were made to the algorithm that processed the results.
Not all upgrades boost points to the extent that a student becomes entitled to a higher CAO offer.
Also, about 1,000 of those who have received an upgrade were not CAO applicants.
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Others received higher grades, and according to media reports in Ireland, colleges may need to create space for as many as 1,000 additional students.
According to The Irish Times, the government bypassed the normal tender process in awarding the lucrative contract to the Ottawa software firm, saying there was “insufficient time” to run a full procurement process.
The Irish government employed a provision reserved for cases of “extreme urgency” to award the contract, according to a Department of Education statement.
Polymetrika International Inc. was initially awarded a contract in May valued at 71,500 euros (approximately $110,000 CAD) for 65 days of work, which according to reporting by The Irish Times was for statistical services as a contingency in case final exams were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Times, the Ottawa company was paid at a rate of 1,100 euros ($800) per day on top of that contract to provide coding services for a new “calculated grades” system.
Polymetrika has, to date, been paid 163,000 euros (approximately $250,000), government officials confirmed this week.
The data errors “should not have occurred,” Ireland’s minister of education Norma Foley told Parliament during a heated debate Thursday, with the opposition blasting it as a “debacle” and a “fiasco.”
In a statement to The Irish Times and shared with this newspaper, a spokesman for Ireland’s Department of Education said Polymetrika “has recognized expertise in what is a highly technical and specialized field.”