In today’s blog post we will comment on the recent developments within a long standing case that has resulted in international students being removed from the UK.
In February 2014 the BBC Panorama program revealed that immigration consultancies and international education agencies were charging fees to help international students with poor English get around English language tests (TOEIC) required for student visas and visa extensions. As a result of these claims, the NUS, who has welcomed the decision for the Home Affairs committee to investigate the accusations, claims that 100s of institutions were closed and that 1000s of students were deported.
However, in March of this year the UK’s Upper Tribunal – that was examining a case involving two students – found that the evidence on which the Home Office’s original decision to revoke licenses and deport students was based had multiple shortcomings and that the investigators were unqualified to interpret said evidence. This is particularly shocking as many students who may have been wrongly deported have had their lives disrupted, have lost thousands of pounds in savings and have had their education completely interrupted.
The Immigration Upper Tribunal has the ability to overturn the Home Office and to set legal precedents. If it is discovered that the removal of thousands of students was incorrect, the wrongly deported students may be able to return to the UK and claim compensation as a result.
Many students involved feel poorly treated by the government and insist on their innocence. The UK has a world renowned reputation for providing outstanding education to students as well as being a secure, enriching place to live. For students, the opportunity to study in prestigious British universities and to obtain an excellent education is highly attractive. Equally so, for British universities foreign students are a great source of revenue and pay far more than their British and European counterparts.
Whilst the decision is far from close to being reached this recent news certainly has opened up a rather intriguing case that has affected the lives of thousands of students in the UK. Whilst stringent controls are needed to monitor, document and regulate the number of students in the UK few would agree that a broken system is the best means to do so.