Statement on English Language Student COVID-19 Policy

April 02, 2020

Marketing English In Ireland (MEI) wishes to extend its ongoing support for all of its members in the English Language Teaching Sector (ELT) in Ireland and abroad.

This is an extremely difficult and extraordinary time for each citizen and guest in Ireland and partners around the world.  Today we must jointly meet and overcome all of the challenges that the Covid-19 Pandemic has brought to our shores.

We commend the leadership shown by the Irish government and all of our public services, in particular our front line staff in hospitals and care services.  We thank them for their guidance, protection and care which is being demonstrated and deployed in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, on a daily basis.

Our MEI members, in English Language Schools and Colleges throughout the country,  welcome more than 120,000 students from across the world annually, with our peak season running between March and September each year. Our students are hosted in more than 30,000 Irish homestays and University residences nationwide.

On March the 12th the Irish government correctly decided as part of its Covid-19 containment strategy, that all schools and colleges must close.

The impact of this closure has been significant.  Students here and those scheduled to travel here for programmes booked months in advance have had their plans suddenly and completely disrupted.

Investment in attracting students to Ireland as a destination of choice and in preparation for the delivery of programmes is lost in respect of 2020 and 2021.

All MEI member schools and colleges are fully aware of the incredible disruption involved for each and every student, for their own school and for their educational partners.

As educators our members have made a promise to deliver English language tuition to all of their students; those currently here and those scheduled to come.

MEI members remain committed to ensuring that, where possible, each student affected will receive either delayed or deferred English language education in school at the earliest possible opportunity or in an online capacity.

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