Written answers

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Department of Education and Skills

English Language Training Organisations

Photo of Jonathan O'BrienJonathan O'Brien (Cork North Central, Sinn Fein)
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402. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if her attention has been drawn to the fact that the €60 per week charge to students transferring in to Marketing English in Ireland-facilitated courses following the closure of language schools they were registered at is unaffordable for many students. [47161/14]

Photo of Jan O'SullivanJan O'Sullivan (Limerick City, Labour)
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Marketing English in Ireland (MEI) is an association of 54 recognised English-language schools in Ireland. All MEI schools have ACELS (Accreditation and Co-ordination of English Language Services) recognition. On the basis of MEI's involvement with the Task Force on Students Affected by the Closure of Private Colleges, MEI schools have been assisting genuine displaced students in completing their studies following the closure of a number of private colleges this year. MEI schools have agreed to provide course places to genuine displaced students at a fee of €60 per week. This fee, which was calculated on a cost provision basis, represents a significant discount of 70% on the standard fees for an MEI school in acknowledgement that a fee has already been paid to the closed college.

MEI schools provide an additional support to displaced students in that they have arrangements in place for the protection of learners. The private colleges which have closed did not have such learner protection arrangements in place.

The normal practice is for MEI schools to require total course fees on enrolment. However individual MEI schools have facilitated displaced students by allowing them to make weekly payments instead to provide further support in managing the payment.

As of Friday 5 December 2014, MEI had received 720 enquiries from students in relation to their discounted course offer. A total of 565 students have now taken up the MEI offer.


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