Students relocated after Irish college closure

Students relocated after Irish college closure

International House Galway, which is part of the International House group of 150 schools, closed on January 26 after going into liquidation.

According to Lorcan O’Connor Lloyd, General Manager at Marketing English in Ireland, all students are covered by compulsory insurance taken out when booking their courses and have now moved.

O’Connor Lloyd said the organization must “act quickly” to find new places for the students, but the majority of students are starting classes at a new school today. Insurance payouts will also cover the new schools to hire more staff if necessary to accommodate the additional students.

“The closure of International House in Galway is a cause for concern”

The Irish Council for International Students said it was “deeply concerned” by the sudden closure.

“The closure of International House in Galway is a cause for concern, particularly as just two weeks ago the school was promoting courses on its social media,” said Laura Harmon, Managing Director of ICOS.

O’Connor Lloyd told The PIE that the 30 or so students due to start at IHG in the next few months are all insured and are now registered with new providers.

ICOS called on the government to “urgently” implement the International Education Mark and “ensure that all measures are taken to protect international students’ investments in their education, including the mandatory use of escrow accounts”.

The long-awaited International Education Mark, a quality assurance system for English language schools and higher education providers, is due to be introduced by the Irish government in 2023 after several years of discussion. The IEM was created in part in response to a number of closure of language schools In Ireland.

As part of the new measures, the government plans to introduce a bond that providers will have to pay into. This will insure students in the event of closures and will effectively replace existing provider insurance schemes, but some language schools say it is still unclear how the proposed learner protection fund will work.

“We don’t yet have details on how this sinking fund will be managed and how much it will actually cost each provider,” said O’Connor Lloyd. “That would be very different from the current model, where we protect each student individually.”

It is also unclear whether the IEM will protect teachers in the event of closures. International House Galway staff have been invited to meet with other schools to discuss job opportunities after the school closes.

At the time of publication, IHWO had not responded to The PIE with comments.

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