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APPG Chairman questions Government on overseas students and TOEIC

24 July 2019 (updated on 24 July 2019)


The Government has been asked an urgent question on the Home Office's use of TOEIC test data to revoke student visas.

In 2014, a BBC Panorama documentary exposed systematic cheating at some colleges where candidates sat the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC). The Government asked English Testing Services, who ran the text, to investigate, and subsequently revoked the student visas of thousands of students who were found to have cheated.

Since them. the validity of the data used in the Home Office decisions has been challenged, with a report earlier in 2019 finding that as many as 7000 students may have been falsely accused.

Stephen Timms, the Chairman of the APPG on TOEIC asked the Government to make a statement.

The Minister of State for the Home Office, Caroline Nokes, responded, saying;

“It is right that we show concern for those who have chosen to study or make a life in this country. Yet we cannot allow our concern to undermine the action we must take to tackle what was a widespread criminal fraud.”

Mr Timms said;

"Thousands of students who have been falsely accused now face grave hardship and need this urgently resolved. ETS's records are confused, incomplete and often plain wrong.”


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