Two letters in the Irish Times can speak for themselves.
This is the first:
Sir, – I read that Trinity College Dublin plans to pilot a radical new approach where student interviews, personal statements and teacher references are used for college entry to law, starting in 2014, (Home News, August 21st).
While Trinity College has always enjoyed imitating the Oxbridge universities, this development should concern all citizens who value equality and indeed equality of access.
Whatever one may say about the CAO system, it is not open to the type of manipulation that I am certain will happen once the ridiculous “personal statement, teacher references, etc” are included in the entry selection process.
Clearly the thin end of the wedge, this development should be seen in the context of the introduction of the HPat exam, namely another attempt by the professional classes to reduce competition for college places for their privately schooled sons and daughters.
As Winston Churchill might have said, the CAO points systems is the worst system for college entrance, except for all the other entry systems that have been tried from time to time. Shameful. – Yours, etc,
Leinster Road, West,
Sir, – Further to Cathal O’Sullivan’s recent letter (August 24th), I would like to reassure your readers that my colleagues and I at Trinity Law School are acutely aware of the challenges involved in attempting to formulate an alternative university entry system to the existing CAO route.
In particular, we have always been conscious of the importance of securing social diversity among our students and, indeed, in 1992 were the first academic unit in Trinity (and possibly further afield) to introduce a quota for students from disadvantaged schools. I have every confidence that these concerns will continue to guide us as we engage with the college authorities in relation to the proposed new pilot admission scheme. – Yours, etc,
Trinity College Dublin.