Beginning with the upcoming academic year, the number of new degree programs offered outside of the Central Applications Office (CAO) points system will be DOUBLED.

Simon Harris, the minister of further and higher education, is anticipated to announce in September the launch of new programs in science, business, and nursing.

Students can enroll in tertiary programs at further education institutions under a pilot scheme that was introduced last year, and then go to higher education to finish their fully authorized degree.

Students in the programs are evenly divided between the sexes, ranging in age from 18 to mid-40s, and represent a variety of nationalities.

Harris will declare that all of the nation's technology universities and education and training boards will take part in the new postsecondary education initiatives.

Additionally, it is anticipated that the nursing and mental nursing curricula would be extended to two other sites.

September 2025 has also been suggested for programs at the following universities: University College Cork, University of Limerick, University of Galway, National College of Art and Design, and Mary Immaculate College.

During the program, tertiary students are not required to pay any tuition or student contribution fees. Student grants are available to qualified students, although student payment plans also apply.

The goal of the policy is to bring higher education, research and innovation, and further education and training sectors into alignment.

According to Minister Harris, the goal of the tertiary programs was to guarantee that a person's points do not dictate their career choices.

“We know so many people have had to consider moving abroad to access education because they didn’t get the points they needed,” he said.

“This policy simply ensures there are other options and other avenues for people to consider.

“What has been great about the first tranche of courses has been the diversity of the student population.

“This is really important, incremental change which will benefit students and ultimately our society and economy.”