Northern Ireland A-level students find it easier to get into the prestige faculties of medicine and dentistry at Trinity College, Dublin than applicants from the republic.
Last year two out of five places on the courses went to A-level applicants, mainly from Northern Ireland. By contrast, a third of places went to first-time sitters of the republic's school leaving certificate exam while the remainder went to students who had to repeat the leaving exam to get the necessary entry "points".
There has long been a flow of students from the North to Dublin, but there is growing resentment over the competitive edge that Northern students seem to have for the high-demand faculties such as medicine.
The figures were disclosed in a confidential report prepared by the Points Commission, which is examining entry systems to higher education. The draft says "these figures raise a number of key issues in relation to successful applications for places on health-care courses". What the issues were, it declined to say.