herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Students want answers from 'missing' owner

A student holding a poster of Khan M Salehin,Managing Director of the closed Leinster College on Harcourt street which is a cause of concern to students and teachers who protested outside the building yesterday
A student holding a poster of Khan M Salehin,Managing Director of the closed Leinster College on Harcourt street which is a cause of concern to students and teachers who protested outside the building yesterday

Students and staff at a Dublin language school which shut its doors unexpectedly have protested outside it calling for answers from its owner.

They first learned of the closure of Leinster College when they arrived for classes on Tuesday and saw a notice on the door.

Although the managing director, Khan M Salehin, indicated on the notice that the closure was temporary, the students now fear it won't open again.

Scores of students, supported by staff held posters of Khan M Salehin aloft with the banner 'MISSING' written across the top.

Khan M Salehin was not available for comment when the Herald called his mobile phone number which he left on the notice.

Lecturer Mick Farrell said he is now sure the college will not open again despite the management claim the closure is temporary.

"Some of us were let in on Tuesday by the landlord but the place has been stripped of anything of value. The computers and printers are gone and there is no sign of Khan. He is not answering calls," he said.

"I think the closure comes at a strange time because he has recently been offering courses for cash at prices that are not sustainable, which has generated a cash influx in recent weeks," he added.

Students have paid up to €1,200 for courses they now fear they can't complete, and they need attendance certificates to renew their visas to stay in Ireland.

"I paid €1,200 for my six-month course in May, but I have also worked as a receptionist for the college during September but I have not got paid," said Mariane Pulz (28) from Brazil.

Nine English language schools have already closed since the summer in Dublin and Cork, which has affected more than 2,000 students.

The closures follows a crackdown on abuse of the visa system for students.

It was found in some cases that young people from outside the EU were registering with colleges with the aim of working rather than studying.

Both the Departments of Education and Justice have announced plans for a new regulatory system.

hnews@herald.ie

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