Ireland’s universities are calling for next year’s Leaving Cert exams to be held in May.
It comes after it was confirmed that this year’s results will not be announced until Friday, September 2nd.
The State Examinations Commission (SEC) said a “number of significant factors” led to the delay in the announcement of the results.
Among the difficulties facing the commission were the second sitting of the exams and a shortage of exam correctors.
The Irish Universities Association (IUA) said the results announcement will now come too late for colleges and first-year students to adequately prepare for the new academic year.
IUA Director General Jim Miley said the exams and results have always been too late for colleges.
“We think, even in a normal year, both the exams and the results are too late,” he said. “They allow no room for disruption, which we have seen again this year.
“So, we're saying bring them forward – perhaps on a staggered basis for a start but ultimately by about a month.
“Now that requires all sides to sit down and discuss how that might happen, but we're asking the minister and the government to start that process now, so we make the first move on that in 2023.”
Mr Miley said this year’s delay will make things very challenging for students and colleges alike.
He said many colleges begin the academic year on September 5th, just three days after the results are announced – meaning first-year admissions will inevitably be delayed.
He also warned that first-years will be at a significant disadvantage in finding housing.
“First years will be brought in as soon as possible, once offers are made,” he said.
“The challenge is that once the result comes out, you have CAO offers a few days later, but then you have second and third round offers so it will be passed the middle of September before some students can start.”
He said colleges “will do whatever they can to support students – albeit in that delayed process.”