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Minister Harris congratulates students on CAO offers & welcomes significant increases in number of students getting their top choice

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today welcomed news that more than half all students receiving offers got their first preference from the CAO.


Overall, offers through the CAO increased by 2,000 on last year, while Level 8 offers are up by 2,269.

The vast majority of students who received an offer, 82 per cent, have been offered one of their top three preferred courses, compared to 79 per cent last year, while an impressive 54 per cent of the students have secured their first choice.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “Today is a major milestone for students as they receive their first round CAO offers and are now embarking on the next stage in their educational journey.

“This cohort of students completed most of their Leaving Cert cycle under the cloud of COVID-19, and all the challenges to learning that brought. They showed incredible drive, understanding and flexibility to ensure the system worked, and for that I want to thank them, and of course their teachers.

“It is a testament to how hard they have worked, that more than half have received their first preference, while more than 8 in 10 have one of their top three preferred courses.

“In total, 57,296 students are receiving offers today, and to them, and everyone else who is now considering the next chapter in their educational journey, I want to say congratulations on everything they have achieved, and wish them the very best as they continue on their pathway to their chosen career.”

An additional 1,056 targeted college places were offered through the CAO for the 2022/2023 academic year, while 16 new apprenticeship programmes are being developed.

Minister Harris added: “I also want to take this opportunity to remind students that there are so many different pathways available as you prepare to take the next steps in your life. Education is a lifelong journey and there is a huge range of options for you to develop knowledge and skills, and achieve your full potential.

“PLC courses and apprenticeships are just some of the options available, and I really want to encourage students to take some time to consider the pathway that suits you. Take a minute, breathe and look around. There is far more out there for you than you think, and it’s important to remember that there are other ways to achieve your goals – more than 11,000 people got CAO offers this year through alternate entry routes like further education. Look at and see what interests you.

“We have something for everyone, no matter your age, part time or full time, one year or four year course, and we’re looking forward to meeting you.”

The Minister also confirmed his Department is working with the Department of Education to prepare for the State Examinations 2023.