Overseas Students: English Language Tests

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:46 pm on 30th April 2019.

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Photo of Clive Betts Clive Betts Chair, Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee 12:46 pm, 30th April 2019

I congratulate my right hon. Friend Stephen Timms on raising this issue and pursuing it so strongly. People’s lives have been put in limbo. Since 2014, my constituent Mr Muhammad Arsalan has not been able to work, study or get access to the NHS. That is not because he has been found guilty based on any evidence, but because he has been found guilty by association. If people have cheated, they should face the full force of the law. However, my constituent has not been able to appeal, because he is in country. Yes, he can now challenge on human rights grounds, but that takes time and money. Will the Minister therefore look at the suggestion from my right hon. Friend that, dependent on the outcome of the current investigation, she consider the idea of these people being allowed to sit another test to prove that they are competent in English?