WIT remains most popular option for Waterford students

Eoghan Dalton Reports

Four-in-five of the students who sat their Leaving Cert in 2017 in Waterford secondary schools received third-level places, with several schools in the city having some of the highest attendance rates.
The figures are included in the Irish Times’ Feeder Schools 2017 report, looking at which colleges and ITs are most popular with first year students across each school throughout Ireland. They are almost identical to last year’s figures, moving up slightly.

Staying within the county to continue their education and potentially forego having to rent accommodation is by far the most popular choice, with Waterford Institute of Technology taking in almost half of the students from Waterford schools who go onto third-level.
Looking beyond WIT, Limerick, Dublin and Cork are almost equally popular destinations to study for Déise students. Meanwhile 17 students went on to study at IT Carlow, the other institute at the heart of the long proposed merger involving WIT.

Four-in-five of the students who sat their Leaving Cert in 2017 in Waterford's secondary schools received third-level places.

Four-in-five of the students who sat their Leaving Cert in 2017 in Waterford's secondary schools received third-level places.

The best performing schools are in Waterford city, with De La Salle College, Our Lady of Mercy and St Angela’s, Ursuline Convent all seeing more than 90 per cent of its students go onto third-level in 2017. Meanwhile Coláiste Chathail Naofa in Dungarvan suffers one of the larger drops on paper, falling two-thirds, partly due to having a much smaller student population than others in the report. It works out to 18 students having attended third level last year, while six progressed in 2017.

St Paul’s Community College in Lisduggan, Waterford city, saw one of the stronger improvements as its attendance rate almost doubled. 31 out of 69 students went to third level last year, however the school had a smaller Leaving Cert group for 2017 and saw 43 out of 51 students attend.
In Carrick-on-Suir the girls’ secondary school, Scoil Mhuire, Greenhill, has the highest rate at 92 per cent.
Meanwhile two-thirds of boys from the CBS went on to attend third-level. The town’s mixed school, Comeragh College, saw just under half of its students go on to third-level. It relocated last year to a state-of-the-art campus on the Pill Road, seeing its enrolment increase by 40 per cent in the process.
In Kilkenny city, Loreto Convent posted the highest at 102 per cent (some of the figures go beyond 100 per cent due to people who sat the Leaving Cert prior to 2017 being included). Other Kilkenny city schools including St Kieran’s College and the CBS have third level attendance rates in the high 90s.

The Vocational School meanwhile saw 11 per cent go on to third level. Elsewhere in the county, Callan’s Coláiste Éamann Ris and St Brigid’s College plus Ballyhale’s Scoil Aireagail saw three-quarters of its Leaving Certs progress. Coláiste Cois Siúire, Mooncoin, had a third of its students do similar.
A common trend of the report in years gone by has been a clear sign that students in fee-paying schools have a significant leg-up over less well-off students and families, and that continues for 2017 as half of the nationwide top 20 fall into the fee-paying category.

One example is Rockwell College in Cashel, County Tipperary, where a 110 per cent attendance rate for third level was recorded.
The authors of the report have warned that Feeder Schools 2017 only provides a limited idea of the Irish education system. For instance, the report emphasises third-level attendance, giving no figures for other areas of secondary education such as PLC courses or the many other aspects of secondary education, as well as not including students studying overseas.

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