MRCI Statement 02 September 2014
Today’s report by the Student Taskforce lacks a strategy and a vision for current and future international students.
The Student Taskforce was set up in response to the closure of six English colleges earlier this year, which affected over 2000 EU and international students. The report outlines measures to restrict courses, regulate schools, enforce compliance and decrease the hours international students are permitted to work. MRCI welcomes a commitment to increase inspections and compliance of colleges and to address rogue businesses.
As the report was being launched today, yet another college, English in Dublin, announced its closure. Edel McGinley, MRCI Director, said “The taskforce offers few protections to students when a school closes abruptly. In these cases students generally lose their college fees and have no recourse to their money. It is appalling that the taskforce still has not addressed this situation. These closures put students at risk of losing their immigration status and we see many students struggling to raise the fees again to continue their education."
International students contribute to the academic environment, the labour market and society - contributions often not acknowledged or valued. Ms McGinley continued, “The vital role that students play in the labour market is not discussed, and the lines between labour migration and student migration are blurred. We are very concerned that restrictions on the employability of students will be detrimental to a population already at risk of poverty, despite providing essential skills to the economy."
Ms McGinley concluded “We are disappointed with the lack of a consultation process with students or interested groups, and with the lack of diversity on the Taskforce."
Government press release, report and policy statement available here.