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NCG expands to Ireland as Brexit looms

New College Group has signalled its intentions for post-Brexit expansion outside of the UK by purchasing the Sandycove School of English in Dublin.

NCG purchase new school in DublinNCG have announce the purchase of their first school outside of the UK. Photo: New College Group

"The growth strategy is to double the size in the next three years"

The new venture is NCG’s first facility outside of the UK where it has two schools in Manchester and Liverpool. The acquisition has been incited by the impending British exit from the European Union, NCG leadership said.

“After Brexit there’s an increased interest in moving out of the UK”

Managing director Sadiq Basha told The PIE News that “after the Brexit [vote] there’s an increased interest in moving outside of the UK.

“We see Dublin as one of the main destinations. So we thought this is the best place to be, and the right time to be here.”

But the purchase is not simply an escape from Brexit Britain. The company has plans for Sandycove expansion.

NCG currently hosts approximately 600 students at its UK centres, and plans to grow the school in the southern reaches of the Irish capital from around 80 students to 150 students in the next three to five months, Basha said.

Asked if Dublin will become an important strategic base after 2019 (when the UK is currently slated to leave the European bloc), he said, “Sure. The school at the moment is very small, the capacity is around 200, but the growth strategy is to double the size in the next three years.”

Former Sandycove owner Kevin Kheffache has left the company. “I believe that NCG represents a new wave of language schools and I look forward to seeing where they’ll take the school in the future,” he said in a statement.

The PIE News spoke to other members of staff at Sandycove, who also expressed their excitement at what they see as progress for the school. NCG will put in place new leadership, Basha confirmed.

In a statement, CEO of Marketing English in Ireland, David O’Grady said he is excited by the deal.

“NCG will attract to Ireland, through its sophisticated network of contacts, students from the Middle East and Asia who may not until now have considered Ireland an alternative destination for their studies,” he said.

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