Ireland: The future of English language study


In May 2011, one of our member schools experienced trading difficulties and, unfortunately, had to close. Because MEI has a Learner Protection policy, all the ELT students in that school at the time were relocated to other MEI schools in the area where they were able to complete their courses with the minimum of inconvenience. This is the sort of pastoral care that MEI is happy to provide.

For the winter of 2011 and into 2012, MEI will be facilitating the continuous professional development of the academic staff of its member schools. We are also finalising a Materials Development Project for Ireland-themed online teachers’ materials for levels A1, A2 and B1. As part of Irish Government policy on international education, scholarships have been offered to teachers of English in different countries and this programme will be further progressed in 2012. At the moment, scholarship applicants in Japan and Korea are being processed.

A very successful pilot scheme for university students from Turkey to come and study in MEI schools is in place and working very well. Apart from the regular and routine work that MEI does in different markets, an overall strategic plan to target China and Brazil as essential markets has developed. MEI has done groundwork with immigration authorities in Ireland to ensure that there are no bureaucratic obstacles to prevent MEI schools from marketing successfully in China and Brazil. 2012 should see this strategy bear fruit.

We know the international student has lots of choices. We know we have to work hard to compete and gain market share. For MEI these are not obstacles, but challenges we eagerly embrace. We are in the business of promoting and selling international education and we are totally confident that the products our schools offer are as good, and indeed better, as any such products on the international market.

David O'Grady
Marketing English in Ireland