Since I started blogging I have made it clear that I will be applying to UCAS but to my surprise so will a large number of you also. I never realised how the people who know exactly what they want to do early are the people who apply to study in Britain. More often then not the attitude is “If I don’t get into England then I’ll settle for Dublin, Cork etc.” But why is that? Is there something lacking in the Irish educational system? What are the pull factors?

 So what are the explanations? Is it the idea of studying abroad and skipping from one isolated land mass to a slightly bigger less isolated land mass? Is it the idea of escape? Do British Universities have more to offer, more opportunities? Or is it a measure of limitations, i.e. to see where you can and cannot get into to? Does it offer reassurance to know that to UCAS you are more than just a number, that you are a real person with a personal statement and a reference? Do you think that this gives you a better chance?

Now that’s a lot of questions but it’s only a sample of the things I considered before deciding to apply. I’m applying to Medicine but only to one university. I reckon any other university would be of equal status to the universities here and plus I wouldn’t like to go to an interview to a university that I have no intention of going to. I think I will get a better education over there. I don’t care that it’s in England. If it was here I would stay. I’m not scared that I won’t get the first choice on my CAO either, I probably will.

 But why do some people use UCAS as insurance for their CAO? They think if they don’t get their chosen course here than they’ll go to England. Surely if your not accepted here they shouldn’t accept you there. Unless the standard is lower. But then what does that say about England? Why travel abroad to get a poorer standard of education? You might as well repeat. ( Unless your chosen course only takes a ridiculously small number of applicants, then I can see the sense in insurance)

The way I see it UCAS should only be used to get better opportunities, or to study courses not offered in Ireland.

5 thoughts on “Why UCAS?”

  1. From what I’ve read alot of the people applying to UCAS are also applying for medicine, and considering the intense competition to get a place in Ireland, I’m not suprised so many are choosing to apply overseas aswell.
    I have a friend who was in the top 2% of the country for his HPAT results last year and got a considerable leaving cert but still didnt get a place so when i was considering aiming for medicine i did intend to apply to Ireland, Scotland and Hungry, simply because you can never be sure what way exams will go or aplications/interviews will be perceived

  2. I presume you mean that your friend didn’t get his first choice. Or are you saying that he didn’t get any medical course that he applied to? By considerable leaving cert do you mean less than 550 because anything below that would have an affect on his score? Was his Hpat score higher or lower than 200?
    Please don’t give specifics but a vague idea would help.
    Like I said I’m not applying to Ucas because of competition here, it’s because there is a better opportunity there.

  3. For me it’s mostly a getting away from home thing, and also a ridiculous level of anglophilia. I also really like the aspect of having to prove that you’d be a good student for your subject, not just generally academically strong, even when it’s an Arts course. In the best of ways, it’s more of a challenge.

  4. Well my theory is Ireland is a sinking ship, called oh I don’t know lets say Anglo, and everyone is fleeing! Basically Ireland offers no hope to students and the workforce of the future. Let’s abandon Ireland and set up shop somewhere else, they’ve failed us! Just joking I’m all for Ireland, but UCAS is a lifeline we can’t help clinging on to.

  5. Well to get into a college here you have to get your points. To get into england you have to write why you want to do the course. Hmmmm I wonder which sounds more sensible?
    And the whole random selection aswell how is that in any way a good way to offer people courses!

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