By staff reporter
Trinity College has set itself a target of having 8% of its student body from Northern Ireland
The Dublin university’s target – in response to a drop in recent years of students from there – is equivalent to 300 students from the North a year.
For the most part, the drop is due to entrance criteria that, in practical terms limits successful applications to those who have done four A-levels. In Northern Ireland just one in eight students chooses to study four A-levels.
Trinity said its new target was a reassertion of its historic mission to be a university for the whole island.
It has announced a feasibility study to find a new way of admitting A-level applicants from across the EU, to be tested first in Northern Ireland.
Provost of Trinity Dr Patrick Prendergast said: “Trinity has historically been a university for the whole island, attracting students with ability and potential from every county”.
“Unfortunately in the last few years our numbers from Northern Ireland have been in decline, and this has been a source of deep regret to our alumni, our students, our staff, and to me personally.
“With this feasibility study Trinity has acted to restore and re-establish a relationship that has done so much to build close links on this island between people from all backgrounds and traditions.”
For admissions in September next year, Trinity will admit a number of students from Northern Ireland looking only at the best 3 A-levels of each applicant.
With the exception of medicine, all courses will be included but only a maximum of three students per course will be eligible for a place under the new system, with minimum grade requirement A,