Press Release of Academic Bridge 16th January 2015
High Court upholds the challenge of Academic Bridge and NED Training Centre
Academic Bridge welcomes the decision of the High Court on the 13th January last. The Minister can no longer insist on compliance by colleges with the voluntary ACELS accreditation in issuing visas to international students coming to Ireland.
Academic Bridge is an education provider delivering high quality English language courses to international students in the heart of Dublin city centre. We comply with all regulations regarding language schools and we enjoy an excellent relationship with all government agencies in Ireland. We are proud of the professional reputation we have built up both at home and abroad. We welcome regulations which will help root out rogue operators and we fully support the Government in its aim to improve regulation of the EFL sector.
The late imposition of the policy for transfer of courses to the Interim List of Eligible Programmes left all colleges with no option but to challenge the Government’s policy as introduced by the Minister. The action of the two Applicants was broadly supported by the majority of education providers in the Industry. The policy would guarantee the closure of legitimate English language schools which were providing high quality education courses to their students but were never aware of the significance that the Minister would place on the ACELS brand as late as September 2014.
During the course of the judicial review in the High Court both the Department of Justice and QQI attempted by conjecture and innuendo to paint Academic Bridge as a “college of concern”. This was a clear attempt to tarnish our business reputation and to present Academic Bridge as a reincarnation of Eden College. This unsustainable attack by the Department of Justice and QQI relied heavily on information found on the Internet. Employing this tactic and citing Facebook and Linkedin as sources of evidence in a court case can only be described as highly improper and all such “information” was summarily dismissed by the court.
Academic Bridge has no business connection with Eden College or indeed any other college – we are an independent education course provider which, despite the huge difficulties of the last number of months, continues to be regarded positively both in Ireland and abroad. The English language sector is a highly competitive one and any attack on the professional reputation of a provider is very serious and potentially damaging. We will continue to build on and protect our good name and our reputation as a legitimate, quality language school.