Irish Council for International Students call on government and ELE sector to urgently address delivery of online classes

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Irish Council for International Students call on government and  ELE sector to urgently address delivery of online classes

ICOS welcomes today’s announcement from Minster Charlie Flanagan that language students, who have completed the maximum 2 years permitted, may remain as students until the end of the year provided they re-enrol in an online course of study for the remainder of the year. However, ICOS remains deeply concerned that students are being mandated to enrol in classes, many of which are not fit for purpose.

Online classes cannot match the quality of face to face learning of languages and so it is disappointing to hear reports from students that English language schools are not lowering their course fees despite the fact that online classes will make up a significant portion of many students’ course.

ICOS wrote to Minister Flanagan and Minister for Higher Education, Mitchell O’Connor earlier in May raising concerns about several serious challenges relating to international students, including inadequate online classes, overcrowded living conditions, difficulty accessing a PPS number and worries about paying their rent.

ICOS Executive Director Sarah Lennon Says “One of the most significant matters raised with the Ministers was that only 13% of English language students were satisfied with the online classes they are being provided by their school, in marked contrast with students at higher education institutes, where there was a much higher degree of satisfaction with the online classes being provided.”  

In light of the fact that English Language students will be compelled to re-enrol in classes that will be primarily online, ICOS is reiterating its call to Minister Flanagan and Minister Mitchell O’Connor to introduce standards to ensure the quality are of classes being provided, while urging that English language schools offer course fee discounts to students who must enrol in online courses during the lockdown period.




Further Information:

Brian Hearne, Communications Officer,


News type
ICOS Press Release