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Ireland: new ELT membership group launches

A new ELT provider membership group has launched in Ireland to bring focus onto English language students, staff and teachers in the country.

Six centres have joined ELE Ireland as its founding members. Photo: Pexels

ELE Ireland has been put together to capitalise on “post-Brexit interest”

On April 12, chair David Niland broke the news of the launch of English Language Education Ireland, consisting of seven members.

“There are many pressing issues [in the ELT sector] at the moment because the reality is that Ireland is trying to cope with entering the third year of pent-up demand,” David Niland, chair of ELE Ireland, told The PIE News.

The new group has been put together to capitalise on the “post-Brexit interest” of Ireland as a student destination, which the PIE reported on earlier in April.

“The events we are looking to organise will focus on getting our members ready to get the International Education Mark, which will be rolled out later this year, to increase the profile of the different destinations offered by its members to new learners who are increasingly looking at Ireland post-Brexit,” Niland continued.

“There are many pressing issues [in the ELT sector] at the moment”

ELE Ireland said a “fresh approach” is needed to continue the growth on English language training in Ireland, and claims it will directly address the “post-pandemic era of operation”.

It is also committed to “ensuring students receive the highest-quality educational experience”.

The formation comes as Ireland continues to suffer from a major lack of housing availability and soaring rent prices, which two student associations pointed out at the beginning of March.

“Following the devastation of the global pandemic on the English language sector, ELE Ireland is a representative body committed to excellence which advocates for positive change for all stakeholders,” Niland said upon the announcement.

The member schools at the group’s inception consist of Active Language Learning, Dorset College Dublin, Galway Cultural Institute, Griffith College,  International School of English Ireland, and Swan Training Institute.

New members will also be welcomed as time goes on.

“There is much to do and we are developing our new member application policy and procedures so that new members are clear on the strategic direction of ELE Ireland and our commitment to support our learners and other stakeholders,” Niland said.

“There is much to do and we are developing our new member application policy”

A new “bespoke” academic learner protection scheme has also been set up as part of the group’s formation, developed to “ensure” its fairness and transparency for learners.

It comes as currently, the ELT sector in Ireland is valued at a total of roughly €900 million every year, which is “distributed to host families and various suppliers” – employing over 3,000 full-time people and more than 7,000 part time.

“ELE was formed to promote and support robust Corporate Governance, provision of free Academic Learner Protection and continuing development of Quality Assurance in English language education in Ireland,” Niland added.

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