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    Ireland to improve protection for int'l students after college closures
    English.news.cn 2015-05-27 11:24:37
    Ireland on Monday announced a series of reforms to the student immigration system for international education after the recent closure of several private colleges in the country.

    The changes are designed to improve protection for learners, and safeguard the country's international reputation, according to authorities.

    The key reforms include a much more restrictive list of education programs eligible for student immigration purposes.

    In relation to higher education programs, only programs which are accredited by Irish awarding bodies, or those accredited by universities in the European Union (EU) that meet quality assurance standards comparable to those of Irish accredited programs, will be permitted to recruit international students, with a few specific exceptions, the government said.

    With regard to English language programs, only those providers who can demonstrate that they have reached an acceptable quality standard will be permitted to appear on the list from Oct. 1, 2015.

    The standard 12 months immigration permission for the purposes of attending a 25-week English language program is being reduced to 8 months with effect from Oct. 1, 2015. Students will still be permitted three such permissions and there will be no reduction in overall tuition.

    All institutions will have to comply with new requirements including a clear declaration of ownership, shadow directors, physical infrastructure and teaching capacity.

    A number of measures designed to protect students are being introduced including compulsory learner protection arrangements and a separate account facility to safeguard student advance payments.

    In just over one year, 17 private colleges have been closed suddenly, in most cases leaving students owed considerable sums in fees paid.

    All of those colleges were approved by the government to offer courses to non-EU students.
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