A group of students wrongly accused of cheating on TOEIC English tests held a protest outside Downing Street yesterday, calling for justice after up to six years spent fighting Home Office decisions against them. These students were suddenly kicked out of their courses and subjected to the full force of the hostile environment, on the basis of Home Office allegations that have now in most cases been proven false.
The Home Office has known for years that the evidence these decisions were based on was completely inadequate, and yet it has forced the accused to fight all the way through the courts and tribunals to clear their names, one by one. The financial and emotional impact is enormous. These students have lost years of their youth in limbo, and even once they clear their names are left with huge debts, broken relationships and without the university degrees that were the reason they came to the UK so many years ago.
The TOEIC scandal involves ten of thousands of people who were accused of cheating on the tests, and had immigration enforcement action taken against them as a result. Despite heavy criticism from the courts, the National Audit Office, the Public Accounts Committee and a specially convened All-Party Parliamentary Group, the Home Office has yet to put forward any proposals at all to right this wrong, and refuses to acknowledge the vast scale of this scandal.
Bindmans acts for a number of individuals who have been affected by the TOEIC scandal, and has worked with the National Union of Students to prepare reports and briefings on the issue.
Have you been a victim of the TOEIC scandal? We have launched the TOEIC Justice Project to provide you with the information, resources, and support you need to help with your fight for justice.