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MAC report is strong on info but weak on politics

The authors of the MAC report on international education exports have surprised everyone by failing to seize the opportunity to reset the policy agenda, says Simon Marginson.

The Migration Advisory Committee report on international students is a good example of what can go wrong when a cautious and clear-minded professor of economics is asked to sort out a tense and unstable political problem.

In the end, the easiest thing to do seems to have been to set down the facts as well as possible, duck all the contentious issues and call on all the parties to respect each other’s good faith and communicate better. It is as if all the contention has just been a misunderstanding, beautifully summed in the report up as views that are “not aligned”.

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