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Irish online courses slammed

Ireland’s language schools are the latest to be accused of charging too much money for online courses which are “not fit for purpose”.

Complaints about paying full fees for courses delivered online are not limited to language schools. Newspapers around the world have reported similar demands for refunds from international schools from the UAE to China. While in India, as we report in the News in Brief, parents have protested outside schools.

In Ireland, language school courses have proved particularly contentious, according to the Irish Council for International Students (ICOS). In a letter to the government, ICOS emphasised that, “Only 13 percent of English language students were satisfied with the online classes they are being provided.”

David O’Grady, CEO of schools association MEI, agreed the sudden order to close in March meant members had to, “scramble to provide students with an alternative form of continuity, and the pace and efficiency was uneven at first.” But he added that, “eventually a balance was struck.”

The Irish government recently decreed that language students from outside the EU, who had completed the maximum two years allowed, can remain in the country until the end of 2020, provided they re-enrol in an online course.

Image courtesy of Library
Matt Salusbury
Matt Salusbury
MATT SALUSBURY, news editor and journalist, has worked for EL Gazette since 2007. He is also joint Chair of the London Freelance Branch of the National Union of Journalists and co-edits its newsletter, the Freelance. He taught English language for 15 years in the Netherlands, in Turkey, in a North London further education college and now as an English for Academic Purposes tutor, most recently at the London School of Economics. He is a native English speaker and is also fluent in Dutch.
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