MINISTER FOR FURTHER and Higher Education Simon Harris will today seek Government approval for 4,600 additional college places this upcoming semester.
There has been a significant increase in demand for college places this year with an increase in mature students and students from the European Union applying.
Minister Harris will seek Government approval for an additional 24 million to fund 4,620 places.
The additional places are to include 440 in health sciences including nursing, pharmacy and medicine, 450 in science subjects, 120 in education and 102 in law.
There will be a significant increase in the number of places in media studies, additional places in veterinary and increased numbers in business.
The Minister will also give an update on expansion in further education and apprenticeship options also.
Harris will also update Government on ongoing work with Department of Health on workforce planning for health service and how Ireland can continue to increase the number of students studying healthcare.
Figures released yesterday show there has been a 9% increase in the total CAO applications this year compared to last, with a 136% increase in applications from other EU countries.
There were a total of 84,526 applications to Level 8 or Level 6/7 courses, compared to 77,831 applications last year.
There were 5,256 applications from other EU countries, and 968 from Great Britain. There were 1,431 from Northern Ireland, representing an increase of 1% on the previous year. 
Environment Level 8 courses saw a 50% increase in first-preference applications, and a 74% increase overall.
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There was a 42% increase in first-preference applications for journalism and information Level 8 courses, and a 49% increase overall.
There was a 20% increase in first-preference applications for medicine courses.
Last Wednesday, Round A of CAO offers were issued, with nearly 6,700 students receiving offers for Level 6, Level 7 and Level 8 courses. All offers must be accepted before 3pm tomorrow.
The next round of offers, Round Zero, is due on 5 August. A reply must be received on 10 August.
Leaving Cert results arent due to be released until 3 September, under an assessment mixed between Calculated Grades and written exams. The Round One CAO offers are due at 2pm on 7 September, and Round Two from 10am 20 September.
With reporting by Gráinne Ní Aodha

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