Letter to editor of The Sunday Times

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Dear Sir

I am writing to formally complain about the article ‘Pile them high’: how foreign student recruiters make millions which was published by The Sunday Times on 17 March 2024.

I was saddened to read statements made by a former member of staff about our company. Study Group absolutely refutes defamatory statements about our long-standing work to recruit and teach international students in preparation for university level study.

As we explained to The Sunday Times ahead of publication, the decision to admit well-prepared students to degree level study is always made by universities themselves. 

However, as we would have made clear if this had been put to us, Study Group also applies strict educational standards to the application and admission to its International Study Centres, and teaching is carefully agreed with our university partners.

The assertion that students are admitted on financial grounds alone is demonstrably untrue — only 1 in 20 of initial applications which we receive to study with us generate students who progress to degree level study. We are proud of our rigorous selection criteria throughout the application and admissions process, as well as the quality of the teaching on our courses themselves. As a result, our students are well-trained and go on to receive good degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate level and to thrive in their professional careers after graduation.

Study Group is a trusted, UK-based company working on global education and deeply proud of its contribution to this vital work with universities and to open up opportunities for study to able students from around the world. We stand fully behind the quality of our students and their commitment to fulfil their dreams and ambitions through global education.

We strenuously reject unfair criticism of international recruitment and specialist preparation education which are so important to UK higher education. It is particularly regrettable that untrue comments about accepting students on financial grounds alone were published without offering us the opportunity to respond — we will be formally complaining to IPSO about this clear failure.

Our aim is to widen participation in global education, offering opportunities to talented students, and is fully in line with the UK’s own International Education Strategy. We continue to be proud of our work to open up opportunities for excellent students to undertake a global education.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Crichton

CEO, Study Group