International language students affected by the recent closure of at least five private colleges are to be offered alternative courses in approved schools at discounted rates.

The decision was announced by the Ministers for Education and Justice this afternoon, after an interdepartmental taskforce was set up last month.

Several schools have closed over the past two months, following allegations about the falsification of attendance records.

Hundreds of students have been affected.

A taskforce chaired by officials from the Departments of Education and Justice was set up last month to co-ordinate the Government response.

This afternoon, Ministers Ruairi Quinn and Frances Fitzgerald announced that students affected by the closures were to be offered alternative courses in approved language schools at discounted rates.

The service will cost €60 a week. Applications will be taken from next Monday.

A new website - - is also being set up to provide further information.

Members of the taskforce are continuing their work and are expected to report back to the Government soon.