On the fringes of the European Council meeting of European leaders, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar took time to meet with three European Union leaders who learnt English in Ireland.
The three leaders, Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel and Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz, all came to Ireland to study English at various stages during their education.
In 2017, the growing English Language Training (ELT) sector in Ireland welcomed over 129,000 students from 118 individual countries, the majority of whom (74%) were from the European Union / EEA area.
According to David O’Grady CEO of Marketing English in Ireland (MEI), the association that represents 66 regulated English language schools and colleges in Ireland, “It was fantastic to see the An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar help promote Ireland as a destination for international English language students. The ELT sector is estimated by the Department of Education in Ireland to contribute in excess of €762 million per annum and this figure continues to grow, with the ongoing increase in student numbers coming to Ireland.”
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with Luxembourg’s prime minister Xavier Bettel, Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sánchez and Austria’s chancellor Sebastian Kurz