British parliamentary panel the House of Commons’ home affairs select committee, chaired by NRI Labour MP Keith Vaz, has launched an inquiry into the treatment of international students who were accused of cheating on English language tests and forced to leave the UK.
Vaz said this is a devastating verdict on ministers and officials at the home office, and it is clear many innocent people who speak impeccable English were denied the right to remain in the UK because of the over-reaction of the home office.
The hearing followed a ruling by the UK’s immigration and asylum chamber allowing a test appeal by two of the students accused of cheating. The cheating scam was revealed by a BBC Panorama probe in 2014. It revealed that immigration consultancies and international education agencies were charging fees to help international students with poor English get around the tests required for student visas and visa extensions.
The scandal also prompted hundreds of dawn raids by Border Agency officers and resulted in the deportation of around 48,000 students, some 70 percent of whom were Indian.