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UK: TOEIC students appeal to Home Secretary

A group of international students campaigning to have their name cleared of accusations of having cheated on the TOEIC test has delivered a letter addressed to the Home Secretary appealing for urgent clarity on the matter.

A group of students with Timms and Ramadan. Photo: Migrant Voice

“The Department you lead ruined our lives and stole our futures. It branded us frauds, forcing us to bear a lifelong mark of shame, while never presenting any evidence at all against most of us,” reads the letter, which was signed by more than 100 students and was delivered by hand on Thursday.

“You are our last hope and we need to hear from you.”

The letter was delivered by hand to a Home Office representative by a group of students accompanied by Stephen Timms MP.

More students wished to join the group but thought otherwise because they were frightened to go to the Home Office, Sheikh Amin, a representative of the students’ group, told The PIE.

An announcement on the Home Office’s decision on the case was delayed in May, as Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes, responding to an Urgent Question by Stephen Timms MP, said the Home Secretary would wait for the report of the National Audit Office investigation to be released.

NAO released its report at the end of May.

“We have lost a precious five years of our lives. We had a plan to make a career, but instead of making a career we lost the way to establish our life,” said Wahidur Rahman, one of the students.

“Once [the Home Secretary] makes the statement, we will be able to know what our next step is. The sooner he makes the statement the better for all the innocent students.”

“The Department you lead ruined our lives and stole our futures”

“We urge the Home Secretary: Listen to the students, make the right decision, and do not delay your announcement any longer,” Migrant Voice director Nazek Ramadan said.

The Home Office was invited to give evidence to an All Party Parliamentary Group set up to conduct an inquiry into the TOEIC case. On 13 June, the department told The PIE it was considering the invitation.

ETS had also been invited to give evidence to the APPG and respond to allegations against the company that had been made in the course of the evidence sessions, but it has declined the invitation. Despite repeated attempts, The PIE hasn’t been able to reach ETS for comment.

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