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UCU response to new immigration rules on English language

4 November 2016

More investment in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses is needed if the government is to achieve its aims for integration and social cohesion, UCU said today.

The union was responding to an announcement on Thursday by the immigration minister, Robert Goodwill, that those wishing to remain in the UK on a long-term family visa will now be required to undertake a more rigorous English language test.

UCU said that the government had cut ESOL budgets by over half in recent years, and said the new policy highlighted a need for further investment to support language learning.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'Learning English is a crucial step for anyone trying to integrate into UK society. However, the government has more than halved the ESOL budget in recent years so it's now much harder for people to access the learning they need.

'If the government really wants to achieve its aim of better integration and social cohesion, it needs to invest properly in ESOL and ensure that all who want to learn English can do so.'