Friday, January 22News For London

New Casey review casts doubts on British citizenship tests


Following the year-long ‘oath integration’ report led by Dame Louise Casey, Dr Bridget Bryne, a senior lecturer in Sociology at the University of Manchester, criticized Britain’s full citizenship test for not fostering fundamental “British values”.

Currently, immigrants do not have to pledge an oath to obtain full nationality into the UK. Instead, immigrants are required to complete a ‘Life in the UK’ test to illustrate their knowledge of Britain.

Dr Bridget Bryne, the author of recent research into the test said that the test is an important part to immigration policy, but its “fails to test immigrants about British society”.

On her blog, Testing Times, she argued that “Very little attention is given to those who are required to actually take the test.

“In my research, I consider the experience of 30 new citizens who have successfully taken the test. Some new citizens did appreciate some of the knowledge they had gained in preparing for the test. However, the majority did not find that it contained useful information,” she said.

The latest version of the test was introduced in 2013 and was created on the third edition of the handbook guide.

Dr Byrne argued that the test’s mundane and uninformative questions do not teach immigrants about the countries core values.

“The test does not recognize how those who are required to take it already have a good understanding of British society and culture. It positions potential new citizens as what one interview described as the dumb foreigner,” the ESRC member said.

She cited in her report that respondents in the study needed to know more about the countries post-colonial past. A respondent from her study said, “People should know the past. We have to teach the younger generation the past.”

Dr. Byrne said the results were of concern and questioned the practice and logic of British citizenship testing.