Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (217)

Jonathan O'Brien


217. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to increase the provision of vocational courses combined with English teaching at further education colleges and university level. [5074/14]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department through SOLAS specifically funds English as a Second Language (ESOL) tuition for adults as part of the adult literacy service. Education and Training Boards (ETBs) deliver the tuition and decide on the level of funding and extent of the service provided in accordance with local demand and needs. ETBs may also provide English language tuition under the Back to Education Initiative (BTEI).

All universities and Institutes of Technology have international offices on campus to provide support to students from abroad. These offices assist students with a wide range of support, from providing information about education policy issues in Ireland, to assisting with accommodation needs. It is understood from the Higher Education Authority that most international offices also provide English classes several times a week during term to facilitate students in improving their language skills. The decision to increase provision is a matter for the ETBs and the Higher Education Institutions.