In 2014, Theresa May, the United Kingdom Home Secretary, annulled 48,000 Tier 4 visas of foreign students and deported them. This move was prompted by a BBC documentary, telecast in February 2014, which revealed cases of malpractices during the TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) at a school in East London.
But on 23 March 2016, the UK’s Upper Tribunal (Asylum and Immigration) said that the evidence on which May’s decision was based was fraught with ‘multiple frailties and shortcomings.’ It also stated that the investigators were not qualified enough to come to a conclusive evidence from voice recognition software, based on which they were debarred.
It was pointed out that there were no witnesses at the English Testing Service (ETS) conducted by a United States–based company. This move has vindicated all the students who had been incorrectly deported and would facilitate their return to Britain, making them eligible for receiving compensation for this neglect.
As per an estimate, 70 percent of the victims of this action were Indians. Keith Vaz, Labour MP, lauding the ruling said that many people speaking flawless English and not breaking any laws were unlawfully deprived of living in the UK.
OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner), which was responsible for these actions, is now facing the flak for covering up criminal fraud and violations of human rights.
This could prove to be the much-needed shot in the arm for Indian students, who are looking to study in the UK.