Immigration staff to test foreign students' English skills

Students who have applied for visas to study in the UK and who have already passed approved language tests could be barred from taking up their places at colleges or universities if immigration officers judge that their English is not good enough, writes Max de Lotbinière for the Guardian.

New powers granted to staff at visa offices around the world, which came into effect on 30 July, are intended to add a new line of defence against bogus applicants. But students could be failed by staff who are not trained language assessors.

The UK Border Agency said it expects to interview 14,000 students applying for Tier 4 student visas over the next 12 months: more than 5% of the 250,000 expected applicants. The interviews will be targeted at students from countries where risks of abuse are higher and who are applying to institutions that are not on the agency’s "highly trusted sponsor" list.
Full report on the Guardian site