'It's amazing': UK university extends deadline for Leaving Cert student's medicine place after Irish Government intervenes – The Irish Times

James O’Donoghue (18), from Clounreask, Co Limerick: ‘The situation is now back in my hands. If I get the grades on Friday, I’ll get the place.’ Photograph: Liam Burke/Press 22
A Leaving Cert student who feared he would lose his offer of a college place studying medicine in the United Kingdom due to the late release of results this year has received an extension following the intervention of the Irish Government.
James O’Donoghue, from Askeaton, Co Limerick, received a conditional offer to study medicine at University of Bristol earlier this year.
The university recently informed him that it needed his results by August 31st in order to secure his place, despite being notified earlier this year that Leaving Cert results would not be released until September 2nd.
Following the intervention of officials at the Department of Education and the Irish Embassy, Mr O’Donoghue received an email from the university on Thursday afternoon to say it was now extending his offer until next week.
“It feels like a mountain of stress has been lifted off my shoulders,” he said. “It’s amazing. The situation is now back in my hands. If I get the grades on Friday, I’ll get the place.”
The 18-year-old student needs three H1 grades and two H2s in order to secure the place.
“I’m hopeful I’ll get the grades. I made a lot of sacrifices over the past year. I moved to a new school, which meant leaving home at 7am and getting home at 10pm at night, six days a week, and seven days in the run-up to the exams.”
Mr O’Donoghue is one of about 1,500 students with addresses in the Republic who have received conditional college offers based on their Leaving Cert exam results.
UCAS, which oversees applications to UK colleges, said earlier this year it had “advised” colleges that the deadline for Leaving Cert applicants was being extended to September 7th.
Mr O’Donoghue said one of the main reasons he has set his heart on studying in the UK is access to affordable, on-campus accommodation.
“First-year students are guaranteed a room and it is far cheaper than in Ireland,” he said.
As part of the application process, Mr O’Donoghue sat an admissions exam – the equivalent of the Hpat or health professions admission test – was later invited to an interview and received a conditional offer on the basis of achieving his expected grades.
Carl O'Brien is Education Editor of The Irish Times. He was previously chief reporter and social affairs correspondent
© 2022 The Irish Times DAC
© 2022 The Irish Times DAC

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