UCD hosted a CAO Information Clinic on January 21st. This is the first year this type of event was held, and it was attended by approximately 350 students.
Both mature and second level students participated in the day, with UCD staff present to answer questions before the CAO application closes on February 1st. Programme stands were set up to give students course-specific guidance. Three sessions were held throughout the day – a morning session for mature students and two afternoon sessions for school leavers.
UCD Registrar, Prof. Mark Rogers, introduced each of the sessions, and this was followed by a presentation from Irish Times correspondent Brian Mooney and talks by UCD staff.
Student Recruitment Manager, Kathy Murphy, explained that the event was held to allow students to get first-hand help with the CAO application process. “A lot of times mature students want to come in, for a one-to-one and maybe have a chat with admissions, and that’s what really drove us and then we decided to open up the second and third session for school leavers.”
Ms. Murphy stated that the mature student session was “extremely well attended” and explained that there was no plan for the event to be held on a larger scale as the lower numbers “meant [students] could come in, sit down and go through their personal queries and they were being answered. That’s very valuable for people who have that type of query.”
Many students from outside of Dublin, as well as several international students, attended the event. “We were surprised, I suppose with one or two coming from both Europe and England because it was only really a session for an hour and a half … it wasn’t an Open Day as such.”
Overall, the pilot event was considered “very successful … and [we] would be encouraged to do it again.”