Home Office 'rushed to penalise' students accused of cheating

The Home Office “rushed to penalise” international students accused of cheating in English language tests without checking the reliability of evidence, parliament’s spending watchdog has concluded.

A report from MPs has concluded the Home Office responded with a “flawed reaction”, revoking visas before verifying evidence, which led to “injustice and hardship for many thousands of international students”.

About 2,500 students have been forcibly removed from the UK after being accused of cheating in the exam run by third parties on behalf of non-profit organisation the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

Another 7,200 left the country after being told they faced detention and removal if they stayed. Many have tried to prove their innocence in court: 12,500 appeals have been heard and at least 3,600 people have won their cases.

 “It is shameful that the department knows it could have acted against innocent people but has not established a clear mechanism for them to raise concerns,” the report said.

The report also criticised the department for having “insufficient recourse to claim compensation”.

Posted on Sep 17, 2019.

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