Almost 70 English Language students have been placed on alternative courses free of charge after their college in Bournemouth shut unexpectedly.
SNT International College was a member of English UK, and so the students were covered by its Rules, which provide for other member centres to offer equivalent courses for free to the displaced students, and its Student Emergency Support Fund which compensates students for any advance accommodation payments they may have made and lost.
English UK chief executive Tony Millns said that the owners of the centre had not contacted English UK, and had issued P45s to the staff through a firm of management consultants based in Ireland. He said: "The owners seem to have simply disappeared and left the school to collapse. This is an appalling way to treat students, staff, and anyone owed money. But closures are rare, and we had no hesitation about moving in to help the students as quickly as possible."
English UK staff held an emergency meeting in Bournemouth last week to reassure students and collect details of accommodation, payments, language level and how long courses had left to run.
English UK has managed to contact most of the students affected by the closure. Of the 80 who attended the emergency meeting in Bournemouth, 69 have been found alternative places so far. A further 18 have not yet replied to messages from English UK, and a further 20 have not yet arrived in the UK. Many of the students were placed at SNT by study travel agents abroad, and several of those agents contacted by English UK have said that in future they will only send students to English UK member centres because of the extra degree of consumer protection offered.