Funding for an additional 4,600 college places is set to be approved by Cabinet Ministers today.
Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris is seeking €24 million to fund the extra places, in order to meet a significant increase in demand.
The demand is partly fuelled by more applications from mature students, alongside an increase in applicants from the European Union.
The Minister is seeking 440 extra places in health science subjects such as nursing, pharmacy and medicine, as well as 450 places in science subjects.
A significant increase in the number of places in law, education and media studies is also expected.