CAD system needs to change to reflect a wider range of student skills – Harris


Universities need to review the CAD point system to ensure it recognizes a wider range of student skills or risk losing public funding, Higher and Higher Education Minister Simon Harris has warned.

Mr Harris was speaking at a graduate reform conference which learned how the Leaving Cert can be reformed to recognize a wider range of learning such as life skills, work experience or modules learning.

When asked how colleges would be persuaded to move away from a narrow CAD point system for college entry, he said, “It’s very simple because they won’t get funding anymore. extra if they are unwilling to have this conversation. I’m not here to provide new money for old rope.

“I am not here to protect institutions. I am here to make sure that every student in this Republic, every individual, has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

The graduate reform conference was organized by the Joint Management Body, which represents around 400 volunteer secondary schools.

The minister said he felt that many university leaders were “really ready” to broaden the way we recognize student achievement and that he wanted to ensure that our graduate cycle allows all students to reach their grade. full potential.

One way to achieve this, he said, is to forge closer links between higher education institutions and higher education institutions.

This would ensure that there are more solid avenues to ensure that young people who drop out of school can study fields such as nursing or law, regardless of their CAD points.

He also said he wanted to review restrictions that limit recognition of the achievements of top students in higher education to the equivalent of 390 CAD points upon transfer to higher education.

Mr Harris said it was right that a student who did not do as well in the Leaving Cert but who was “passionate and talented” had another distinct entry route to the CAD points race.


The conference also learned that despite a public perception that student performance on Leaving Cert depended on written exams, most subjects now included grades for projects, labs, and other components.

Andrea Feeney of the State Examinations Commission said 27 of this year’s 41 exams involved second or even third components. These can be worth up to 40 or 50 percent of the points.

On whether there should be more continuous assessment in order to alleviate exam stress, she said policymakers need to be careful not to create an assessment “overload”.

She said it was important to “test thinking about it” because providing more ratings could create even more stress, even if the proportion of grades awarded was quite low.

Ms Feeney also noted that future reforms may see students completing their graduation exams more using digital devices.

It was a recognition, she said, that students used pens when writing their exams, but maybe didn’t use them most of the time otherwise.

She said steps were already being taken in this direction, with students submitting some of their projects and components online.

Education Minister Norma Foley, meanwhile, confirmed that she had received the advisory report on graduate reform produced by the National Curriculum and Assessment Council.

She said it was important for her ministry to fully consider it before responding and establishing an agenda for graduate reshuffling and reform in the years to come.

Ms Foley said the government is committed to providing a “graduate cycle for all”.

“We also need to ensure that we prepare students for the Ireland of tomorrow – the society and economy of tomorrow. Our students must be able to function in this society and find employment and fulfillment in this society and economy. “


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