Special afternoon English language classes may be established to cater for international students affected by the recent sudden closure of several private colleges.

The classes have been proposed to a task force established by the Department of Education and Department of Justice aimed at assisting students affected by the closures.

The offer has come from a body representing more than 50 English language colleges, called Marketing English in Ireland.

The Irish Council for Overseas Students says it has been in direct contact with around 1,000 students who have been affected, but some of them will already have returned home by now.

However, there are other students, yet to arrive in Ireland, who have already paid fees for courses to the colleges that shut down.

Marketing English in Ireland has told the Government's task force that its members should be able to run afternoon classes at cost price for students affected.

This proposal has yet to be approved but it is understood it was received favourably.

The lessons would adhere to best standards with no more than 15 students to a class and would be fully accredited.

However, students would have to pay €60 each per week.

This may be difficult for students who have already paid fees to the colleges that closed.

This proposal will be considered further when the task force meets again later this week.