Students desert building and property courses

Students are deserting courses in building and property at third level as concern about the housing market deepens. The latest figures from the CAO show a drop of almost one-third in the number of students applying for higher-level degree courses in these and related areas. The fall-off in demand for these courses at ordinary and certificate level is even greater – at more than 40 per cent. The CAO figures, based on options selected by Leaving Cert students and others in January, also show a decline in demand for courses – such as law and nursing – which have attracted negative media publicity. Parents tend to play a major role in shaping CAO choices and their influence can be seen in the figures. Demand for higher-degree courses in law is down by more than 4 per cent, a trend possibly linked to recent publicity about rogue solicitors. Demand in nursing, which has been beset by industrial relations difficulties, is down by more than 6 per cent. The decline in the area of the built environment reflects the slowdown in demand for courses such as construction studies, surveying and planning. In a related trend, demand for courses in architecture is also down by more than 7 per cent.

The Irish Times