12 more English language schools could close
Leinster College becomes ninth English language school to close this year but ICOS says more closures inevitable
Staff and students with gardaí outside Leinster College language school in Harcourt Street, which has closed its doors recently due to financial issues. Dave Moore, communications officer for the Irish Council for International Students, believes more closures are likely. Photograph: Dave Meehan
More than a dozen English language schools and further education colleges could close in coming months as new Government regulations come into effect, a body representing international students has said.
Dave Moore, communications officer for the Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) said more closures were likely when changes to requirements for colleges recruiting students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) come into effect in January.
The warning comes after Leinster College, which had offices in Harcourt Street and in Dolphin’s Barn in Dublin, yesterday became the ninth English language school in Ireland to close this year.
A note posted on the college’s website yesterday morning said “Due to change [sic] in trading conditions Leinster College has ceased to trade with immediate effect. We apologise for inconvenience caused to all our clients and staff members.”
Figures released to The Sunday Times by the Department of Justice last week showed that in April, 619 non-EEA students were registered with Leinster College; this figure had risen to 930 by September last.
The college employed around 20 teachers and up to seven administration staff. It is understood that students were paying tuition fees up to the Friday before the college announced a “temporary” closure last Tuesday.
Calls made to Leinster College managing director Khan M Salehin yesterday were unanswered and messages were not returned.
As part of the new criteria, English language courses will have to be accredited by the Irish awarding body, Accreditation and Co-Ordination of English Language Services (ACELS), and fewer programmes will be eligible for student immigration purposes.
Mr Moore said he was aware of at least a dozen colleges whose “entire business model is at odds with the basic requirements of this new policy”.
Siptu said it will lobby to secure rights for teachers who are “very fearful” of more closures, the union’s education sector organiser, Louise O’Reilly said.