Impact of Delayed Leaving Cert Results
Written in News & Updates 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.