The Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Trinity College Dublin, Dr Patrick Geoghegan, has described the CAO points system as "one of the least fair methods" to determine admissions to third level courses.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Dr Geoghegan said that a new admissions system, which Trinity will trial on a small scale from 2014, will follow international best practice.

He said the new system will take into account Leaving Certificate results, a student's performance ranking in their own class, and a personal statement written by the student.

Dr Geoghegan said: "Too often we hear about the culture of wasting your points, that if you think you're going to get high points you should put down a high points course.

"We want to move away from that culture, but we also want to get a raw, honest, enthusiastic assessment or account of why the person wants to study these particular things, who they are and the context in which the results were achieved.

"By using the three scales and not advantaging one over the other we hope to follow international best practice and see if we can see who are the best applicants."

It has been reported that 25 places will be reserved on three courses using the alternative entry method.

Dr Geoghegan believes the new system will prove fairer than the current points system.

The trial system will be in place for students applying for places in Trinity College Dublin for the academic year 2014/15.