Impact of Delayed Leaving Cert Results
Written on Friday, 04 June 2021 00:00

Impact of Delayed Leaving Cert Results on European Admissions

Update 16th June 2021

Clearly, the current pandemic has had a serious impact across Europe on both the delivery and assessment of secondary-level Education. The majority of countries appear to have met it with a clear raft of measures both cancelling off-line schooling and either maintaining, cancelling or postponing end-of-year examinations, with clear timetables as to measures for assessments and publication of results. Following fantastic work by the teachers of Ireland, and their schools, during April and May, they have deliveried assessed grades on schedule. Now, with the written tests imminent, our own Minister of Education was faced with a decision on the timeline required by SEC to produce results based on both written tests and teacher-assessed grades. She has decided to posotone publication of results from their normal mid-August slot until 3rd September.

Not only will this test our families but, for the second year in a row, is increasingly testing the patience and goodwill of universities in many European countries.

So, are our results now too late for over 1000 Irish students waiting in diverse admissions systems for entry to the first year of programmes in continental European universities? Many universities and Ministries of Education have only recently  found out about this postpnment and, in those countries, where the academic year starts on 1st September workarounds are being evaluated.

Denmark: With our students already challenged by increasingly futile attempts to extend an even earlier deadline for the delivery of results, the deadline for receipt of results will not be extended beyond 31st August, though recent messages from our Department of Education seem to contradict this.

Germany: our 2021 results were already too late for entry 2021, so most Irish students have applied using 2020 (or earlier) results, or are waiting to apply next year.

Netherlands: the normal deadline for the submission by students of their "High School Diploma" (Leaving Certificate) results is 31st August. I appears that there is no legal student enrolment deadline and univerisities have  good measure of flexibility in setting/reveiwing admisions deadlines. Several universities have already confirmed to EUNICAS that they will accept late results and that Irish students can start their programmes on 1st September, the commencement of the Dutch academic year. In other universities, the decision making process is moving a little slower. (for example, a decision is expected from U. Groningen on Monday, as to how exactly to manage Irish results)EUNICAS is working with universities, on behalf of Irish students, to gain the certainty they require. Evidence of the involvement of our own Department in this process is light. An announcement is expected shortly from the Dutch Ministry of Education, encouaging universities to accept late results from Ireland, and other countries (e.g. India) where this is a problem.

Last year, when our results were also late, Dutch universities – supported by an intervention from the Dutch Minister of Education - permitted Irish students to commence classes as normal  (and attend the previous week’s fresher events). Importantly, they supported an extension for the provision of results. EUNICAS is expecting the same to happen this year.

Lithuania: EUNICAS is currently negotiating with universities here, where their academic year commences in early September.

Romania: our results are already later than deadlines for results in med and vet schools in Romania. Some have a second round of applications, which can accommodate the traditonal date for publication of our results but not the extended date. We are currently looking for flexibility here.

Spain: we have currently no feel as to how the delay will affect the increasing numbers of Irish applicants to Spanish universities. Thre is no evidence of any engagement by our Deprtment of Education with Spanish universities, This would be welcome. Watch this space for updates.

Italy and Poland: t
he academic year in both of these countries starts in October, with comensurate timelines for the provison of results, No issues are expected here.

EUNICAS is working tirelessly, both in Ireland and a wide selection of European universities, in an attempt to minimise the impact of this delay on Irish students.

Meet Tilburg University
Written on Monday, 26 April 2021 18:20


Meet Tilburg University


Tilburg University is one of the most popular Dutch universities with Irish students, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. This is great opportunity to meet the university and Irish students already studying there. (Monday, 26th April at 17.00 Irish time)

- maybe you already have an offer and want to learn more about the programme, living in Tilburg (inc accommodation) or to meet fellow Irish students who are going
to study in Tilburg this year

- maybe you haven’t decided to go there yet and need help in making your decision

- are thinking of applying, but haven’t done so yet

Have your questions answered.

Register here


Masters: Surge in Irish Applicants to Dutch Master's Degrees
Written on Thursday, 01 April 2021 17:38

Surge in Numbers of Irish Students Applying to join Master's Degrees in the Netherlands

In these interesting times, new graduates are meeting challenges in securing employment on graduation. Many are looking to do Master’s programmes, as they wait for the situation to improve. Unfortunately, many can’t afford the tuition fees in Ireland. There is a solution:

There are now nearly 500 Irish students studying on English-taught Master's degree programmes in Dutch research universities. This number is expected to increase significantly this year.


- excellent universities, offering English-taught programmes
- admission requirements  that, in many cases, are not based on grades
- low fees (including generous student finance) Through a government covid-measure,  fees for 2021/22 are reduced to Eur 1084 pa!!
- enhanced opportunities to enter globalised employment markets

Find out more about these opportunities in our forthcoming event OMG Im Doing a Dutch Masters, where you can meet some of the leading universities and, most importantly, some ofthe Irish students who are studying there already.

Register here

Yes, you can still be a Doctor or a Vet!
Written on Thursday, 18 March 2021 00:00

Register for our webinar here

At EUNICAS, we are often struck by how early in their school lives some students have ruled themselves out of careers in the health sciences. Ill never get those sort of points they say, scowling sadly at a far-off golden mountain. However, it is clear that we are beginning to understand that high points don't necessary predict successful medical careers. Often students with points in the low 400s, who have then studied in Europe, have become superb doctors, vets or dentists. We are also starting to meet students saying that even if they get into UCC/UCD, theyd prefer to go to Italy!

Above: Guy from EUNICAS, meeting Irish students during a tour of Polish med schools

Whether you are in 5th or 6th year, or even TY, and want to reignite your dream, or learn how anything is possible, if you it want enough, you should come to this online event on the evening of Tuesday 30th March. Find out what programmes are available, discover admissions systems that arent interested in your Leaving Cert points, explore the quality of these med schools and, most importantly, meet Irish students already studying abroad.

Register here

"Predicted Grades" and European Applications
Written on Saturday, 13 March 2021 16:58


Predicted Grades and European Applications

Unsurprisingly, the requirement for ‘predicted grades’ by some European universities, as part of their application process, is causing consternation in staff rooms across Ireland. This has become particularly relevant as ‘calculated grades’ (assessed grades) raise their head again, as a live issue in the assessment of Leaving Certificate 2021.

Firstly, lets get our lexicon straight. Apart from teachers supporting the applications of three or four thousand students applying for UK universities, through UCAS, we don’t do predicted grades in Ireland. In our current situation concerning the Leaving Certificate, schools are offering calculated grades or assessed grades, but not predicted grades: we are not predicting grades for August 2021, we are calculating them, as an alternative to grades from written tests. Our calculated/assessed grades will run in parallel to the written exams. Ironically, the predicted grades used in the UK process are, in fact, predictions of calculated grades!! So, we ask those in the media, and elsewhere, to stop using the term ‘predicted grades’, in a Leaving Certificate context, when they are in fact referring to calculated grades.

In most cases, in EU systems, universities don’t offer places on their degree programmes, based on grades (with a few exceptions, which we will look at below), so grade predictions are meaningless to most admissions staff there. It might suit student recruiters/brand ambassadors, in some of these countries, to refer to ‘predicted grades’, which might reassure students from countries where grades are relevant and who are needlessly concerned about the perceptions of the strength of programmes that don’t select based on grades, but admissions staff don’t find them useful.

So, where are ‘predicted grades’ being required in EU universities? Firstly, and importantly, there are some countries (e.g. Spain and Denmark) where selection for many programmes is based on grades, or GPA (Grade Point Average). Because our Leaving Certificate results (and those in UK) are so late compared to rest of Europe, they have in the past used our predicted grades to place our students in selection rankings. Secondly, there are some programmes where grades can be one of several selection criteria. For example, in the Netherlands, where some 10% (only) of programmes have a selection procedure and they include your academic record as one of their three or four selection criteria. (The other 90% only need to know that you are registered for the Leaving Cert. and yourperformance in recent school exams). Thirdly, some (a few only) of the Health Sciences programmes in Central Europe will grant admission based on grades in science subjects.

EUNICAS is determined to ensure that our students don’t miss out on coveted places in European universities because our schools are unable to provide predicted grades. So, what are the solutions?

Firstly, Guidance Counsellors should check, when students come to them looking for "predicted grades" that this is what is actually required. As referred to above, the term can be used with a wide range of meanings! Secondly, where possible, EUNICAS is working on solutions with universities, as below:

Wherever a university (e.g. U. Amsterdam, Hague UAS) has required “predicted grades”, and EUNICAS has brought to their attention the problems some schools are having providing these, admissions staff have confirmed that there is alernative documentation that they will accept. (contact EUNICAS if you would like this clarified)

Particularly in Med and Vet schools, some programmes (not all, e.g. Warsaw ULS don’t look for predicted grades) ask for “predicted grades”. Again, in many instances, this is marketing/image-led, in that selection for most of these programmes is based only on performance in entrance tests and/or interviews. In most cases, admissions at these universities (or the ubiquitous recruitment agents) have accepted alternative documentation. In some cases (e.g. MU Wroclaw), where selection is based on grades or “predicted grades”, arrangement can be reached, usually based on conditional offers.

This has been one area where agreement has been difficult. In Spain, where the number of Irish applicants has been increasing, students need to have their results validated as equal to the Spanish high school qualifications. Where no final results are available, this validation has been done based on “predicted grades”. There is currently no indication that authorities will change this position. In the case of private universities, particularly the Dentistry schools (e,g, UCV Valencia. U Murcia), unsurprisingly, greater flexibility is being shown.

Some progrmmes - e.g. Medicine, Dentistry, Architecture - select based on entrance tests (but not Leaving Cert grades) and, in that these tests are often in September and students only have to produce Leaving Cert results at enrolment (in any event Academic Years usually start mid-October), predicted grades are not an issue.

As referred to in an earlier article, Danish universities are much less prepared this year to extend the July deadline for receiving Leaving Cert results, particularly where the programmes applied for have selecton procedures based on GPA. Predicted Grades were rarely requested in the past, and will be requested even more rarely, going forward.

Feel free to contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for clarification of any issues related to this.


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