A formal inquiry is to be opened after Home Secretary, Theresa May, was alleged to have wrongly deported over 50,000 international students following the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) exam scam in 2014.
The allegations regarding the TOEIC exam were brought to light after an undercover BBC Panorama report in 2014 claimed to have uncovered a cheating incident at an East London school involving overseas students sitting the TOEIC.
The parliamentary investigation, announced just a week ago, comes after an immigration tribunal found evidence underlying that the Home Office used “unscientific hearsay” to deport those students from the UK. This incident has also opened up investigations regarding the overall treatment of international students in the United Kingdom.
Keith Vaz, MP for Leicester East told The Independent that these students were “innocent people whose whole reputations have been destroyed because the Home Office keeps saying they took their tests illegally and fraudulently and with deception.”
There had been no comment from Home Office regarding the investigation.
The Saint spoke to the Students Association’s Member for Racial Equality, Halima Mohamed, who stated that “International students not only bring revenue into the United Kingdom, but also allow for British students to engage with those who have had different experiences to them which is important to bringing up well rounded, open-minded young adults.”
Ms Mohamed supports the upcoming investigation so that “students who were wrongly accused get a formal apology as their lives will no longer be the same after the sacrifices they have made” and mentions that everyone should “pressure those at fault to ensure the investigation continues.”
She emphasized that “it is important for everyone to work on ensuring all people are treated equally no matter what their background and to make sure an incident like this does not happen in the future.” She hopes that international students at St Andrews feel welcome.