Nicola Hancox, Editor of StudyTravel Magazine
Opinion... from the Editor
The Irish ELT sector is experiencing a period of rapid growth. Marketing English in Ireland (MEI) member schools reported an 11 per cent increase in international student numbers in 2016, on the back of strong 2015 numbers.

International enrolments are looking just as solid in 2017, according to MEI CEO David O'Grady, who was interviewed in StudyTravel Magazine's April issue.


Such positive growth clearly hasn't escaped the notice of investors and there has been a spate of interest in the Irish ELT sector recently, as evidenced by one of this week's news stories.


UK-based New College Group (NCG) is the latest provider to expand into the Irish market, acquiring Sandycove School of English in County Dublin, and joins Holmes Education Group and EC English who both acquired language schools in Ireland earlier this year.


Favourable work rights, good visa conditions and a clear commitment from government to welcome international students to the country look to be major determinants for the aforementioned investors.


Procurement of an already-accredited language school is currently the only route into the Irish ELT marketplace (currently there is no accrediting scheme for new schools) so there will likely be more acquisitions going forward, raising Ireland's ELT profile further and potentially unlocking new source markets in the process.

By acquiring Kenilworth Institute in Ireland, EC said it hoped to drive growth in key source markets such as South America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, while O'Grady noted that NCG could help the sector access recruitment markets in the Middle East and Asia, markets already established at NCG's Manchester and Liverpool schools.

Following the launch of an international education strategy, which outlined plans to increase the value of Ireland's international education sector to 2.1 billion euros by 2020, Ireland's government has now unveiled a strategy to address the potential need for additional accommodation provision, a sensible move and further proof of its commitment to this credible export industry.

There was expansion news outside of the Emerald isle, too, this week, with Lexis English Sunshine Coast moving to new custom-built premises in the Maroochydore Waterfront area, and The Language Gallery opening new centres in Canada and Germany.

ST TV is brought to you this week by myself and Producer, Scott Wade. Why not tune in and find out what's been happening in the world of Study Travel this week?


Bye for now!


Nicola Hancox