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Innocent students not protected

05 June 2019

Overseas students may have been wrongly accused of cheating in English language tests, and in some cases, unfairly removed from the UK, says the National Audit Office.

Its investigation found that the evidence shows there was extensive fraud in the student visa system prior to 2014. However, the NAO said that the Home Office failed to protect those who were not involved in the cheating.

the investigation discovered 11,000 students who sat the test left Britain after the fraud was discovered. However, 4,100 whose tests were considered invalid were given leave to stay and 500 have now become UK citizens.

The head of the NAO, Amyas Morse, said: “When the Home Office acted vigorously to exclude individuals and shot down colleges involved in the English language test cheating scandal, we think they should have taken an equally vigorous approach to protecting those who did not cheat but who were still caught up in the process, however small a proportion they might be, This did not happen.”

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