Student travel group and language schools have liquidators appointed

Posted in Governance and administration on March 28th, 2020 by steve

“The company behind Usit and the English Studio language schools in Dublin and London has applied to have a provisional liquidator appointed to the businesses. Usit is a brand long associated with students here, many of whom got their first taste of the United States as teenagers through J1 work visas secured via its outlets …” (more)

[John Mulligan, Independent, 28 March]

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Statement from the Department of Education and Skills for students in the English language education sector

Posted in Governance and administration on March 22nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Covid-19 outbreak is a rapidly evolving situation and the welfare of all students is a priority for the Department of Education and Skills. This is especially the case for those students from overseas who have travelled to Ireland to study English and who may be particularly vulnerable at this time …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 22 March]

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English language students told they will not receive refund

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues on March 19th, 2020 by steve

“English language students have been told they will not be refunded money they have paid in advance for classes following the closure of all schools last week to contain the spread of the coronavirus …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak, Irish Times, 19 March]

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Regulating language schools

Posted in Governance and administration on January 22nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Francis Oliver Neary (Letters, January 20th) is correct when he writes that the proposed International Education Mark will provide quality assurance for international students. Unfortunately, despite the relevant legislation passing in the summer, it seems like it will be some time before the mark is fully implemented …” (more)

[Sarah Lennon, Irish Times, 22 January]

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Ministers Breen and Mitchell O’Connor announce the establishment of Joint Labour Committee for the English language education sector

Posted in Governance and administration on December 3rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen TD, has formally accepted the recommendation of the Labour Court for the establishment of a Joint Labour Committee for the English language education sector. He made the announcement today together with Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD …” (more)

[DBEI, 2 December]

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Teachers ‘highly critical’ of English language schools

Posted in Governance and administration on July 22nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Teachers working in commercial English language schools are poorly paid, on precarious contracts and employed in a sector where low morale is commonplace, according to a Government report. The findings are contained in a report by an independent mediator who was tasked by Minister of State for higher education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, to engage with teachers and employers on employment standards in the sector …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 22 July]

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RCSI set to get university status 235 years after it started training surgeons

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 12th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“More than 200 years after it started training surgeons, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) is set to become a university following passage of reforming education legislation. The legislation increases the powers of the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) the agency which has responsibility for quality and qualifications in further and higher education …” (more)

[Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times, 11 July]

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Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 Passes both Houses of the Oireachtas

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 was today (Thursday, 11th of July) passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas and will now be presented to the President for his signature. Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said: ‘I am delighted to be able to say today that the Government has put in place protections for the staff and students of English language schools, with the passing of this Bill …'” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 11 July]

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Students who paid thousands to study in Ireland left ‘high and dry’ after agency closure

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 22nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Language students, who in some cases paid as much as €4,800 to study here, have been left ‘high and dry’ following the sudden closure of an agency offering packages across the country. A large number of Brazilian students, who arranged to study in Ireland through ‘Time2 Travel’, have been left in limbo after the company ceased operations …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 21 June]

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Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 [Seanad]: Second Stage (Resumed)

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 16th, 2019 by steve

IrelandJohn Lahart (Dublin South West, Fianna Fail): I welcome the opportunity to speak on this Bill relating to Quality and Qualifications Ireland, QQI. It is important to note one of the contexts in which this is relevant. There are only five or six countries in the world that are English speaking and the English language education market is a significant market in that regard. With the pending withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union in some shape or form, Ireland is the principal English language speaking destination and therefore English language education destination in the European Union …” (more)

[Dáil debates, 13 June]

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Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Amendment Bill 2018 [Seanad]: Second Stage (Resumed)

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 13th, 2019 by steve

IrelandThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail): Níl éinne eile anseo. B’fhéidir go gcríochnóidh an díospóireacht níos luaithe ná mar a chríochnódh sé de ghnáth. Fianna Fáil is committed to maintaining and improving the highest standards in education. It is intended to increase the number of international students and the number of students entering higher education in this country is increasing all the time. It is vital, therefore, that these students are supported by a high quality education system …” (more)

[Dáil debates, 12 June]

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Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 completes Report Stage in Seanad Éireann

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 22nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“RCSI recognition as a university, English Language College regulation, Learner and teacher protection amendments all welcomed by Minister. Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD today (22 May 2019) welcomed the completion of Report Stage of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 in Seanad Éireann …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 22 May]

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Minister Mitchell O’Connor appoints mediator for the English Language Education Sector

Posted in Governance and administration on January 13th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, has today appointed the former General Secretary of the Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland (ASTI), Mr Patrick King, to work with relevant stakeholders to explore the potential to address some of the employment related issues that have arisen in the English language education sector …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 13 January]

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Language Schools Closures

Posted in Governance and administration on December 15th, 2018 by steve

IrelandJames Browne (Wexford, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding teachers whose money was taken from them by their employer (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 13 December]

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Language Schools

Posted in Governance and administration on December 12th, 2018 by steve

IrelandRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if language schools will be required to provide evidence of financial viability to ensure that closures such as that of a college (details supplied) is not allowed to happen again in view of the fact that non-EU students applying for visas to study English here must produce bank accounts and evidence of financial viability; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 11 December]

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16 years of precarious work in English language schools caused me to develop anxiety

Posted in Life on December 8th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“For 16 years I was a precarious worker. I was an experienced English language teacher but in all that time I never had a permanent contract. I never had sick pay, or holiday pay, unless it was ‘rolled into’ my hourly rate of pay. I never had guaranteed hours of work and for 16 years I didn’t get a pay rise …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 8 December]

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Language Schools Closures

Posted in Governance and administration on December 7th, 2018 by steve

IrelandRóisín Shortall (Dublin North West, Social Democrats): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the protections available to students and staff when an English language training school faces financial difficulty in view of media reports (details supplied) and in view of the significant budget that has been set aside to market Ireland as a destination for English language training; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 6 December]

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Department of Justice accused of failing to keep proper oversight on English language schools

Posted in Governance and administration on December 6th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The Department of Justice has been accused of failing to keep proper oversight on English language schools as up to 10 Mongolian students face losses of more than €5,000 each in fees paid upfront to a Dublin college. They look unlikely to be refunded after paying the equivalent of almost two years’ salary in Mongolia to attend English language courses at Grafton College, which went into liquidation on Monday …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 6 December]

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English Language ‘Visa Factories’

Posted in Governance and administration on December 6th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Fine Gael Senator Anthony Lawlor has said that more monitoring and stronger regulation is needed in the privately delivered English language sector. Disingenuous schools are using the current student visa rules for non-EEA Nationals to setup unsustainable businesses. The standard visa for pursuing an English language programme on the Interim list of Eligible Programmes (ILEP) is 8 months allowing students work up to 20hrs per week and up to 40hrs during the summer months …” (more)

[Senator Anthony Lawlor, 6 December]

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Minister Mitchell O’Connor calls for stronger employment protections for teachers in the English language training sector

Posted in Governance and administration on December 6th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Speaking in the Seanad today the Minister for Higher Education, Minister Mitchell O’Connor highlighted that the situation at Grafton College Dublin, exposed weaknesses in the availability of fair terms and conditions of employment in areas of the English language training sector. Minister Mitchell O’Connor was speaking at Committee Stage of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Amendment) Bill …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 5 December]

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