For Written Answer on : 06/12/2022
Question Number(s): 425 Question Reference(s): 60784/22
Department: Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Further and Higher Education; Research; Innovation and Science his plans to regulate English language schools and the employment of staff in same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Act 2019 contains a number of legislative provisions which are aimed at enhancing and strengthening the role of Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) as a regulator of quality in the English language education sector. These measures include the establishment of a new national Learner Protection Fund and the International Education Mark (IEM). The new Learner Protection Fund will be established and administered by QQI. The Fund will be used to ‘teach out’ a programme in the event that a provider fails to provide a programme. Should this not be possible, the Fund will be used to reimburse students for the most recent fees that have been paid. The IEM is a key component of the Government’s policy for the English language education sector and is intended to provide a quality framework for the provision of education to international learners. To obtain the IEM providers will have to demonstrate to QQI compliance with requirements on corporate fitness, quality assurance and the protection of enrolled learners, alongside key criteria and practices surrounding the recruitment and admission of international students, information provision, student welfare, cultural awareness and academic support provisions. In addition, providers will also be required to satisfy conditions relating to the recruitment, training and the cessation of employment of staff. Further information on the IEM is available on QQI’s website at the following link: https://www.qqi.ie/events/roadmap-to-the-international-education-mark.