Statement on the Closure of the International House Galway

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The Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) continues to be contacted by English language students and international recruitment agencies who have been affected by the recent closure of the International House Galway. Despite reports last week suggesting that all students impacted by the closure had been facilitated, ICOS understands that there are a number of students and agencies who paid money to the International House, but have yet to be offered an alternative solution. ICOS notes that, in some cases, students reported that the school did not offer them Learner Protection when they bought their course.*


ICOS’ Executive Director, Laura Harmon, said: ‘ It is inconceivable to think that people paid money to the International House Galway, a reputable English language school in Ireland, and then for it to close down, and for some students not to be offered any alternative. This is highly unethical and damaging to Ireland’s reputation as an international education destination. All learners, regardless of their nationality, should have their course fees protected from the moment they pay their fees. Ultimately, the onus should be on the English language schools to guarantee students’ fees, not the other way around.’


It is the view of ICOS that English language schools should be subject to regular monitoring and be required to submit financial accounts to an oversight body, such as, an ombudsman, at regular intervals, in order to ensure financial viability. ICOS continues to call for the introduction of the International Education Mark in Ireland to ensure the quality of courses and providers.


Students affected by the International House Galway closure can contact ICOS at




Note to Editors

* Learner Protection is an insurance that protects learners in the event of their school closing. It is an immigration requirement for education providers to have Learner Protection to sell courses to non-EEA international students. However, it is not a requirement to sell courses to EU students.


The International Education Mark (IEM) will be a quality mark awarded to higher education and English language education providers who have demonstrated that they meet national standards to ensure a high-quality experience for international students.


ICOS’ Submission on the International Education Mark:


For media comment please contact: ICOS Executive Director, Laura Harmon, on Ph: 0861738455 Email:

News type
ICOS Press Release