Close-up the pen on the exams answer sheets exercises in classroom with student stress.

A 2014 BBC documentary explored the prevalence of exam cheating in the United Kingdom. In order for international students to continue their studies or switch to a different program, they had to pass these exams. Prime Minister Theresa May ordered an investigation by the US company Educational Testing Service (ETS) in response to the controversy surrounding the movie, and ETS personnel discovered that 97% of tests administered in the UK between 2011 and 2014 were questionable.

The Home Office revoked the visas of roughly 35,000 individuals and accused the students of fraud. Around 2,500 of them were deported, the majority of them were expelled from universities, and over 7,000 were given the warning that they would be arrested if they did not leave the country.Thousands of students subsequently attempted to clear their names and pursue justice, but only roughly 3,600 of them were successful in their appeals. The high expense of litigation has caused many to decide against filing a claim.

As the investigation went on, one of the immigration tribunal judges charged the Home Office with power abuse in 2017. The UK Home Office was found to have neglected to closely examine the results, and the National Audit Office (NAO) concluded in 2019 that there were no evident flaws in the data that the ETS had provided. A former ETS employee also testified in court, claiming that the company was aware of prior instances of fraud at testing centers but had chosen to overlook them.

Alex Reb

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