Teachta Adams said: “I have met the senior staff from DKIT several times in recent years and our discussions have always included how DKIT and the education system in this state can make it more attractive for students from the north to apply for places.
“Overall the number of students from the six counties who apply to enroll in third level education institutions in the south is small. It has averaged around only 0.5% of the student population. More needs to be done to improve this situation.
“One specific issue that has long needed to be addressed is the admissions criteria which is a matter for the individual institutions. The points system in this state means that most successful A Level students in the north who normally complete three A Levels – which are sufficient to secure university entrance within that education system – cannot reach the number of points needed for universities and institutes of technology in the south.
“I welcome the decision by DKIT to award additional points for A Level and BTEC exams and to allow students from the north taking a combination of A Levels, applied A Levels and BTEC exams to combine these for scoring purposes.
I also support the decision by the seven universities in the south to introduce new admissions criteria from September.
“The initiative taken by DKIT has seen a doubling of applications to it from the north. However there is enormous potential for greater growth.
More students travelling to third level education institutions on either side of the border is good for the students, for the education system and for society.”