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Editorial: Agony and ecstasy of CAO offers

MANY will have been delighted -- and not a few disappointed -- when they checked their Central Applications Office offers for college places today.

Increased competition for places has pushed up the points requirement for the majority of third-level courses.

In an echo of the 1980s, a "points race" is under way with rises in 700 courses, while remaining the same or dropping for the other 560.

Many students appear, not unnaturally, to have opted for courses that offer the best chances of employment in our depressed economy.

The Government will be pleased with the renewed interest in science and related courses after years in the doldrums.

Applications this year totalled more than 77,500 and obviously not everyone will get the course of their choice.

However there are plenty of other options -- and a second round is on the way on September 2.