MEI Central European Roadshow 2016

May 03, 2016

Major Central European trade mission to bring English language students to Ireland 

A four country Central European trade mission to bring English language students to Ireland concluded this week in the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Marketing English in Ireland (MEI) the association that represents 60 regulated language schools and colleges nationwide embarked upon the Central European trade mission, with events in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.

According to David O’Grady CEO of Marking English in Ireland (MEI), “Last year a total of 107,129 students from 89 different countries came to study English in Ireland at one of the regulated MEI school and colleges, however it is vital that as an organisation we continue to seek growth in existing markets such as Central European. The trade mission to Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary was part of an ongoing strategy to grow our market share in that region, for students wishing to travel abroad to learn English. Traditionally, Ireland has received the largest number of English language students from countries such as Spain, Italy and France, however there has been double digit growth in these four Central European markets in the last year which is hugely positive.”

David O’Grady, CEO of MEI continued, “The overall growth in the number of inbound international students studying English in Ireland was 10% in 2015, but the average across the four Central European countries in question was over 80%, due in a large part to the focus on this region over the last number of years by MEI.”

The total number of students, including junior and adult students from Poland who studied English in Ireland in 2015 rose 29% to 486, in Hungary it was a rise of 24% to 140, in Slovakia a 13% rise to 131 and in the Czech Republic a 270% increase to 1016 students.

This is the second year this trade mission, termed the ‘Central European Road Show’ has taken place. The events have been supported by key personnel form the various Irish Embassies, Tourism Ireland and Enterprise Ireland. A number of Irish Ambassadors participated at the events including Ambassador Gerard Keown in Warsaw, Ambassador Anne-Marie Callan in Bratislva and Ambassador Pat Kelly in Budapest.

Feedback from the MEI members who participated on the ‘Central European Road Show’ indicates that Ireland remains a very popular destination for students from Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is expected that once again, 2016 will see growth in the numbers of students coming to Ireland from this region.

David O’Grady, CEO of MEI concluded, “As a member based organisation MEI continue to forge opportunities in new markets or in developing existing markets such as Central Europe for our schools and colleges. We are proud of the educational facilities, the excellent teachers, and the friendly and safe atmosphere that students will experience here in Ireland and that is exactly what we market throughout the world. As a country, Ireland receives more English language students per head of population than our major competitor countries such as the United Kingdom, USA, Canada or Australia and we expect that trend to continue.”


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