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Dublin Cultural Institute acquired by HSI founder

A language school in central Dublin has been acquired by Irish entrepreneur, Declan Millar, founder of international education business HSI.

View of the school from O'Connell Bridge, Dublin. Photo: Dublin Cultural Institute.

The centrally-located Dublin Cultural Institute was acquired from ex-owner Brian Keenan-Hall, who described Millar and HSI as the “perfect partners” to take over the school.

“We want to introduce a significant European mix to it, which would include short-term students”

“I was looking towards retirement and was interested in working with a partner with a high international profile to ensure the continuation and expansion of DCI,” he commented. “I can retire now in the knowledge that both the staff and school will continue to grow and flourish.”

The language school has seven classrooms with capacity for 200 students, and the acquisition comes at a time when Ireland has been enjoying a successful summer of strong growth in ELT bookings.

DCI will keep its existing name and premises, and Millar said told The PIE News will focus on “developing the school and allow it to grow and prosper” rather than making significant changes to how the school is run.

Existing staff will stay in place and there will be no major initial changes to programming, though Millar said he intended to expand the school’s offering – and with it, the student body.

“The school had mainly focused on long-term students; we also want to introduce a significant European mix to it, which would include short-term students as well,” he commented.

Millar is involved in a number of ventures as well as HSI, which comprises guardianship, high school and placement programmes in Ireland and the UK, as well as summer programmes in Dublin, including sitting on the board of a not-for-profit organisation placing students into high school placements in the US.

With his oversight of enrolment trends, he pinpointed eastern Europe and southeast Asia as among the strongest student source regions at present but noted a need for the industry to innovate their product offerings.

“The standard product offering hasn’t changed in 20 years, and the market has,” he said, suggesting that more integration with native speakers is one example of market evolution that customers were demanding.

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