Government and Policy Update

MAC forced to withdraw international student survey after backlash On 17 May, the MAC was forced to abandon a survey about the impact and experience of international students in the UK, after serious methodological concerns were raised. The survey, which was to form part of research by the MAC into the impact of international students, asked for students’ views on their international classmates, but the negative online reaction to the survey prompted the withdrawal of the survey after only 48 hours. Academics criticised the survey for its poor design, which contained what they said were loaded and leading questions, and for not adequately preventing multiple or non-student submissions. The survey had been widely shared by the Home Office, institutions, UUK, and others before these issues were highlighted.  A spokesman for the MAC said: “The survey was not designed to be discriminatory. Following online commentary it has become apparent to us that we will be unable to use the responses to the survey to draw any conclusions. We have therefore withdrawn the survey. [It]had the potential to show a very positive view of international students in the UK but cannot now be used to add to our evidence base.” This story was widely covered in the press, including by BBC News, The Times and The Guardian.

Read more …ExEdUK newsletter May 2018