Friday, August 13, 2010

UK College probed for selling English certificates to Asian migrants

LONDON: A college in Britain is being investigated for allegedly selling English language certificates to Asian immigrants to help them "cheat their way to getting UK citizenship", a media report said.

The revelations came after fears last year rose that hundreds of students from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were studying at poorly regulated private colleges which had found ways to exploit weaknesses in Britain's immigration controls.

The Oxford College of Management and Sciences, which has sites in Burnley, Bradford, Blackburn, Bolton, Rochdale and Oldham, is allegedly rigging its English for Speakers of Other Languages course "to help immigrants to cheat their way to getting UK citizenship", the 'Daily Express' reported.

An English language pass means those who meet other requirements can apply for a passport or indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

"We have referred details of this college to Ofqual (the exams regulator) to investigate urgently," Lin Homer, UK Border Agency's chief executive, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

In fact, the students of the college, that appears to have no qualified teachers, have little or no knowledge of what, where and when they'd studied to get their certificates. One student said he was told he had gained a pass less than 15 minutes into his first lesson.

Another allegedly paid a 50-pound deposit and was asked to speak in English "about my life". After 15 minutes, he says he was told the college would be in touch and he would just need to pay 200 pounds to collect his certificate.

However, Rizwan Ahmed Kiyani, who runs Oxford College, has denied all allegations of fraud.

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