The National Union of Students (NUS) has called for an inquiry into the actions of the Home Office following the revelations in February 2014 that a number of overseas students had cheated in their Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC).
The now defunct TOEIC test was designated a ‘Secure English Language Test’ by the Home Office and it was provided by the Home Office’s contractor, Educational Testing Services Limited (ETS).
According to the union, there are serious questions that must be answered about the Home Office’s response to the revelations, which led to the removal of thousands of students and the closure of around 100 educational institutions.
The above actions were taken on the basis of evidence that has since been discredited by judges in the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber).
The NUS says the Home Office must immediately suspend all action based upon ETS’ findings and reinstate leave to remain where necessary to enable students to continue studying and working pending the findings of an inquiry.
The union also urges the Home Office to identify and review every case where ETS’ findings have led to action being taken against individuals, including those who have left the UK.
It is also calling for a public inquiry into the situation which should consider the appropriateness of the ‘remove first, appeal later’ system which applied in most cases, and how to ensure in the future that international students are afforded a fair hearing.
“The Home Office’s handling of the whole saga has been a complete omnishambles,” Mostafa Rajaai, International Students’ Officer, said.
Click here to download the full NUS evidence.