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Inquiry of UK"s Cheating Scandal and Indian Student Deportation

June 2016, 07
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Inquiry of UK’s Cheating Scandal and Indian Student Deportation
"BBC Panorama" investigation uncovered a cheating scandal where students, poor in English, could bypass English Language tests for visa extensions or student visas by paying an amount in certain immigration agencies and international education services. This resulted in the deportation of 48,000 students worldwide. Indians comprised of 70 percent of these students. This mandate English test is conducted by US-based ETS’ subsidiary.

The UK's upper tribunal (immigration and asylum chamber) gave its decision that allowed a test appeal by two of the alleged students. Indian-descent Keith Vaz, presiding over Home Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons, construed that this issue must be investigated thoroughly. 

"We are deeply concerned with the arrests, dawn raids and aggressive deportations of students from outside the European Union (EU), which have occurred following allegations of fraud at English language testing centers," Labor MP Vaz said. "The home office appears not to have investigated English language testing fraud allegations themselves before undertaking heavy-handed action. Recent legal cases, with their damning criticisms from senior judges, have opened the door to a mass of expensive and damaging litigation.”

After revealing the flaws of this test, about 100 institutions lost their license while students who tested in the respective centers were expatriated. 

"An estimated 70 percent of those affected are of Indian nationality, and this debacle comes at a time when Indian student numbers in the UK are declining. The UK risks causing extensive damage to its reputation as a leading destination for international study."  Vaz expressed.

The committee feels that a detailed inquiry into all of the issues relating to English language testing can bring some resolution.

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