English language students left abandoned and out of pocket following school closure
Today, the Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) met with English language students and several representatives from recruitment agencies who paid money to the International House Galway prior to the school going into liquidation earlier this year. Most of the people who attended today’s meeting online were from Turkey, but there were also a number of students from Spain, Yemen, and Latin America. While many people who paid money to the International House were relocated to a new school in the aftermath of the closure on account of having a Learner Protection policy, none of the students and agents who ICOS spoke with today have received a refund or offered any alternative for the money lost, including those that said they paid the school for Learn Protection. In total, an estimated €40,000 is owed to the students and agencies in course fees. Furthermore, no meeting of creditors has taken place since the school closed down; however, from ICOS’ experience it is unlikely that the affected students will receive anything from the liquidation proceedings.
ICOS’ Executive Director, Laura Harmon, said the following: ‘Current regulations governing the English language sector are failing English language students and damaging Ireland’s reputation. The International House is just one of many school closures that have occurred over the years where students have invested in their education to study English in Ireland and have been left out of pocket with no one being held accountable’.
The lack of protection for English language students will deter many learners from choosing to study English in Ireland. ICOS is calling on the English language sector to show solidarity with all affected students of the International House closure who have been left without their money or the classes for which they paid. We are also calling on the government to introduce the International Education Mark to ensure that in future students can be confident that their course fees are protected.
For media comment please contact: ICOS Executive Director, Laura Harmon
Ph: 0861738455 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org