A JOHNSTONE woman is campaigning for thousands of international students to be able to resit an English language test they were “wrongly accused” of cheating in.

Back in 2014, thousands of students were accused of faking the Test of English for International Communication in order to gain a visa.

Many were told their studies had been terminated and were ordered to return to their home countries.

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Ever since, Migrant Voice – an organisation created to develop the skills, capacity and confidence of members of migrant communities – has been putting pressure on the Home Office to review the situation.

Sofi Taylor, who has recently retired from working in equality and diversity with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, is the vice-chair of the board of trustees for Migrant Voice.

The 64-year-old Johnstone woman, who moved to the UK from Malaysia in the 1970s, insists the students have not been given a fair trial.

She said: “We want to try to get the politicians to take notice.

“These students did not get an opportunity to resit. There are a large number of overseas students in Renfrewshire. This isn’t good for our reputation as a country.

“There must be a form of investigation.”

The accusations originally came from a BBC Panorama investigation.

Theresa May, who was Home Secretary at the time, asked the US-based Educational Testing Services, which ran the system, to analyse voice files to check whether students had used a proxy for language tests.

It found 33,725 results were ‘invalid’ and 22,694 more were ‘questionable,’ leading to the Home Office revoking almost 40,000 visas.

Last July, Migrant Voice published a report in Parliament on the issue, which triggered a Westminster Hall debate last September.

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Some students have since visited Parliament to press the issue.

Mrs Taylor, who worked as a nurse in the former Merchiston Hospital, in Johnstone, added: “If you accuse somebody of something, you have to have evidence and give them a second chance. It is a human right. 

“We are looking for the government to put pressure on the further education sector. These people need a fair crack of the whip.”

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