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Students from closed private colleges offered new courses at a discount

The news has been welcomed, but the Irish Council for International Students said that some students feel paying again is “unjust”.

 Wzldomiro Tonelli Neto from Brazil paid 900 euro for a 6 month course in which he has only had 2 months tuition before His school Eden college closed.
Wzldomiro Tonelli Neto from Brazil paid 900 euro for a 6 month course in which he has only had 2 months tuition before His school Eden college closed.
Image: Sam Boal

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS WHO were affected by the closure of their private colleges will be able to access new courses – at a discount.

The news was given today by Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn, and  Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald.

The international students affected by the recent closure of several private colleges will be offered alternative courses in “high-quality, approved English language schools at a heavily discounted rate”, the Ministers said.

Hundreds of students have been left without a place to study English after the colleges closed.

How it will work

The offer will be coordinated by Marketing English in Ireland (MEI), an industry body for approved English Language Schools.

The courses will be offered through MEI at a cost of €60 per week, which is a discount of around 70%.

The new courses which are being specially created for the affected students will operate to the highest standards, including small class sizes, and will be covered by MEI learner protection arrangements. Applications for these courses from the affected students will be taken from Monday 23 June.

A taskforce was set up on 21 May 2014 in order to deal with the aftermath of the colleges closing.

A new website, www.studenttaskforce.ie, has also been set up to provide information for students on issues relating to their immigration status and details of the alternative courses available.

The taskforce expects to present a final report to the two Ministers shortly.

‘Positive start’

The Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) welcomed the news, but said “there is much work still to be done to turn [the website] into a comprehensive resource which will address the many issues which displaced students are uncertain about”.

“Students have now been presented with a clear alternative option in terms of language study but that alternative will cost money and for many students the idea of paying again for something for which they have paid already seems unjust,” said ICOS. “The fundamental rights of students to learner protection will need further discussion.”

Read: Task force set up to protect students affected by closure of private colleges>

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