In a landmark ruling that could see many international students returning to the UK, an immigration tribunal has condemned the Home Office for deporting students for alleged exam deception in 2014 without confirming their role in the deception.
The UK government has revoked the licence of 16 private colleges in its investigation into immigration fraud launched in June saying "If a college addresses the serious concerns we have identified, they may get their licence back; if not, we reserve the right to revoke it permanently."
Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridgeshire, has slammed the Home Office for its handling of the investigation into suspected exam and visa fraud describing its actions as "incredibly cavalier" and that it was “absolutely wrong to name and shame” the private colleges and universities without evidence of foul play.
The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education is conducting an independent inquiry into higher education delivered through London branch campuses, after an investigation by the Home Office found that some 45,000 immigrants may have fraudulently obtained English language test certificates.
The Home Office has suspended the licences of 57 private UK colleges, launched a criminal investigation into global testing giant ETS and suspended international recruitment at three universities, following an investigation that has concluded that around 45,000 immigrants may fraudulently obtained English language test certificates.
Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection has recently announced that it will accept Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) and TOEFL iBT scores for a number of work visas from November 2014, including sub-classes relating to Temporary Graduates and Work and Holiday visa holders.
The Home Office's decision to accept TOEFL scores submitted with student visa applications for exams taken prior to April 17 has helped minimise any disruption of ETS terminating its SELT licence, sources indicate. The company has now unveiled voice biometric testing as a new security layer.
The UK government has ended its licence agreement with ETS to provide Secure English Language Testing as required by UKVI. This means that TOEIC and TOEFL scores are no longer valid as proof of English level – ETS confirmed it made the decision after TOEIC fraud was uncovered in UK testing centres.