DIFC Terms & Conditions

DIFC students walking through a park

DIFC Refund Policy

Refunds are only permitted in the event of a student’s visa application being refused on appeal. The student must present the official refusal letter from the Irish Government to DIFC in order to secure a refund of fees (less €500 administrative fee).

Exceptional cases may be considered for other circumstances that prevents a student from starting their studies with DIFC; these may include, for example, sudden serious illness or family emergency. In the event, that a refund is approved, the Registration & Placement Fee amount is non-refundable.

No refunds will be permitted once the student has registered in the College and commenced their studies.

September 2020 Intake Adjustments

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DIFC will be delivering the first semester of it’s programmes online. Therefore, students may commence the course with visa decisions still pending. In the event of a visa refusal after the student has commenced studying online, the following options are available:

  1. Defer to January 2021 intake
  2. Refund of tuition fees paid less the following deductions
    • €500 administrative fee, plus
    • €1,500 if participating in online classes for up to 1 month
    • €3,000 if participating in online classes for up to 2 months
    • €4,500 if participating in online classes over 2 months

Withdrawals Policy

Withdrawal refers to cancellation of the chosen course after arrival in Ireland. No refunds will be allowed in this situation. If you wish to withdraw from your course after arrival at DIFC, you must give the DIFC school office at least four weeks advance notice in writing. For students requiring a visa to enter Ireland, they should be aware that the terms of their visa allow them to study at DIFC only and it is not possible to change to another college. No clearance letter will be issued in these circumstances, however a statement of attendance will be issued where four weeks advance notice of withdrawal is received.

Where a student fails to give four weeks’ notice in writing, a statement of attendance can be requested by paying the Irregular Statement Fee of €60.

Tuition Fees

The total fees payable comprise:

  • Programme Tuition Fee
  • Registration & Examination Fee including Learner Protection
  • Medical Insurance
  • Course Materials
  • Optional airport/college transfer service
  • Optional Accommodation & Arrangement Fees

Methods of Payment

Tuition fees should be paid by bank transfer to the DIFC bank account details provided or via PayToStudy

Absenteeism & Expulsion

  • Student Attendances will be reviewed every week.
  • All uncertified absence in excess of 3 days or more without sufficient reason will face disciplinary procedures (official letter of warning) which may affect the student’s academic record.
  • Where a student’s overall attendance has fallen below 90%, a verbal/email warning will be given and the student will be given a period of 1 week to demonstrate an improvement in attendance, to be confirmed by the student’s tutor and course leader.
  • Students who have not demonstrated an improvement in attendance within the given 1 week, will be given a First warning attendance letter, with the same conditions as before. Students will also be required to meet with their Course Leader and the College Principal.
  • Students who have not demonstrated an improvement in attendance within 1 week, will be given a Second warning attendance letter, with the same conditions as before.
  • Students, who have not demonstrated an improvement in attendance within 1 week of the 2nd warning letter, will be required to meet with the College Principal, Eimear Morhan, about their attendance and given a Final warning letter. Following this, a failure to demonstrate an improvement in attendance may result in expulsion with no fees being refunded.

Sick Leave

All uncertified absence in excess of 3 days or more without sufficient reason will face disciplinary procedures (official letter of warning) which may affect the student’s academic record. In the case of absenteeism due to illness, students must send an email to their Course Leader on the first day of sickness and each day subsequently. Students are then required to submit a certificate from a doctor on the first day of return to DIFC. If no medical certificate is submitted, the student’s attendance will be recorded as zero for the days of absence and DIFC’s absenteeism policy will be applied where appropriate. Disciplinary procedures will also be followed if the student does not contact the college.

End-of-Programme Exams

All students are required to complete a Release of Information Consent letter at registration which gives DIFC consent to release results to parents or agents on request and also to INIS.

Pre-Foundation English

Entrance to Foundation courses is decided by the DIFC entrance exams which are scheduled in January, June, September and December each year. Each exam is double marked by DIFC Academic staff and students receive a full transcript of results within two days of the exam.

PFE students are also required to take a TIE exam. DIFC will make arrangements for all PFE students to take this exam. Students must sign an agreement with DIFC at the start of their programme where they state that they accept that this exam is a mandatory part of their programme.

The PFE Course Leader will schedule the exam at two points during the academic year, December and June. Students must complete an application form and DIFC will make arrangements for the exam to either be taken on site or at the TIE examination centre depending on student numbers.

All students are required to complete a Release of Information Consent letter at registration which gives DIFC consent to release results to parents or agents on request and also to INIS.

IELTS Preparation

All students must complete an IELTS exam as an end-of-course exam for this programme. Students must sign an agreement with DIFC at the start of their programme where they state that they accept that this exam is a mandatory part of their programme.

The PFE Course Leader will make arrangements for students to take IELTS exams at the end of the course. However, Students are also free to schedule this exam at a time which is preferred to them. All students must submit evidence of completion of this exam to DIFC. This is agreed in writing at the start of the programme.

Foundation Programmes

Student exams and coursework are marked by the staff at DIFC. Then, after the end of module exams, NCUK external examiners moderate (check) that the coursework and exams for every single student on the programme have been marked to the same standard. This means that there is a small possibility that an assessment mark could go up or down. It would not be fair if students in one centre got different (higher or lower) marks for the same standard of work as students at another centre. A mark will only ever be changed when it is absolutely necessary.

Once the external examiners have moderated student work there is a meeting, called an Exam Board, to discuss the marks and confirm the final results.

Students are awarded a mark (and for some programmes, a grade) for each module you complete; this shows your level of achievement. Offers made by NCUK Partner Universities are expressed in terms of these marks and grades. The minimum pass requirements for each NCUK programme are explained on the NCUK website at: www.ncuk.ac.uk.

Your results will be given to you approximately two weeks after the Exam Board. For further information you should read the sections in your Student Handbook called “Official Publication of Results” and “Transcripts & Certificates”.

Holidays & Breaks

No unscheduled breaks are permitted except in documented cases of illness or close family bereavement. In the event of a student requiring leave during the programme, the student must complete an Authorised Absence Form which can be found outside the admin office or on Moodle. This form must be approved and signed by their Course Leader before being submitted to the Student Services office.

Each application is given due consideration and is dealt with on a case by case basis. DIFC will always endeavour to accommodate the student’s requirements where possible. The criteria for accepting or refusing a request are as follows:

  1. Necessity of the requested leave
  2. Impact on completion of the programme
  3. Timing of the requested leave
  4. Length of the requested leave

If the Course Leader refuses to approve the leave, the student can then contact the College Principal to appeal this decision. The College Principal’s decision is final.

Student Complaints and Grievances

Our complaints and grievances policy is included in the Student Handbook. The policy document can be viewed here.

Health Insurance

All non-EU students who are studying in Ireland must obtain private health insurance which is under the terms of their student visa by the Department of Justice.

DIFC Student Services arranges private medical insurance cover for students. The fee of €200 for private medical insurance is included in the tuition fee. Please click here to see a sample policy document.

External accreditations and awarding bodies

Accreditation and Coordination of English Language Services (ACELS)

ACELS is a service of Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), a statutory body of the Department of Education and skills. DIFC Dublin is recognised by ACELS as approved to deliver English Language Programmes. Our Foundation Year Language Preparation course are quality assured and regulated by ACELS.

http://www.acels.ie/

Northern Consortium UK (NCUK)

Foundation programmes at DIFC are accredited by NCUK. NCUK was formed in 1987 was founded by 11 leading UK universities to deliver a highly successful student transfer programmes in Malaysia. NCUK programmes are developed in partnership with these universities, and are quality assured by them.

www.ncuk.ac.uk

MEI

DIFC is a member of Marketing English in Ireland (MEI) which is an association of 52 recognised English Language Institutions in Ireland. The member schools of MEI are all recognised by ACELS,. Quality is central to MEI’s mission.

MEI schools also espouse Learner Protection, thereby being able to guarantee to students that they will be able to complete all language courses for which they are enrolled. This process ensures that the facilities and the programmes on offer are of a superior quality. In addition MEI members must adhere to the association’s rules, regulations and standards. www.mei.ie

Protection of Learners

In the unlikely event that a programme ceases prematurely, arrangements are in place to ensure that students will be enabled to complete their programme of study.

Academic English programmes

These programmes are covered by our membership of MEI which means that another MEI college would take these students on to allow them to complete their programme of study at no additional charge.

Foundation students

DIFC has an agreement win place with both Griffith College Dublin and NCUK which would allow students to complete their programme of study on site, in the unlikely event of DIFC ceasing trading mid-programme.

Emergency Contact Information

Emergency contact information is available to all students in their Student Handbook which is provided at Induction.

Stakeholder Feedback Procedures

DIFC is committed to having a positive working relationship with its stakeholders. This is achieved through fostering open communication between all parties and addressing feedback and concerns in a prompt manner.

Procedure: Informal Feedback

Most feedback/concerns can be addressed informally with your designated DIFC contact person. This facilitates an open discussion about the issues raised and can be helpful for moving forward.

Steps are as follows:

  1. Speak directly with your DIFC contact person. The person concerned will understand that you are taking responsibility for yourself in your relationship with DIFC. This can be done in person or over the phone and the DIFC contact person will then follow up with an email outlining any actions or agreements that have arisen from the conversation which require follow-up.
  2. If you feel unable to do this, or have done so but still feel dissatisfied, you can speak to the DIFC CEO.
  3. The CEO will speak to the person concerned and may also suggest a 3-way meeting if this is mutually agreed. If it is not appropriate to approach the CEO, please feel free to contact another DIFC Manager who will deal with this issue sensitively.
  4. Your concern will be listened to and he/she will do what is possible to promote clear communication aimed at resolving the problem. This conversation will be followed up with an email to confirm any actions or agreements that have arisen.

 

Procedure: Formal Feedback

If any stakeholder wishes to formally highlight an area of concern, please do so through our online website form outlining the nature of the concern and as much information as possible to help us understand it enough to know how best to address it.  Feel free also to email the CEO directly outing this same information.

Relevant contact details

Diarmuid Moroney

President

Tel: 045 866671

Email: diarmuid@difc.ie

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