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Almost 27,900 foreign students attended language courses at English Language Teaching schools (ELT) last year - nearly 70% more than in 2020 but still far below the 83,600 in 2019, the last full year before COVID-19.

English language schools are bracing for another crippling summer Language schools set to lose up to €40m The majority of students came from Italy (18%), followed by France (15%) and Poland (12%). Overall, almost 80% of the students originated from an EU country, according to official data.

Most were aged between 18 and 25. Students aged 50 numbered just under 2,300. Girls accounted for nearly 60% of the entire student population.

July was the busiest month for local schools accounting for more than a quarter of the annual total. The most popular course was ‘General English: Standard’, taken up by more than 60% of the students. This was followed by the ‘Intensive English’ course, with about a fifth of students. The average length of stay of the students was almost 5 weeks. With an average of around 13 weeks, students from China recorded the highest number of student weeks.

In 2021, there were more than 470 teaching and academic staff, with almost a third aged over 55. Female teachers accounted for nearly 70% of the total.

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