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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political SciencesPostgraduate study

Mr Ian D Forbes MSc, BSc

Postgraduate Research Student

Mr Ian D Forbes's photo

Ian Forbes is a postgraduate research student within Social Sciences at the University of Southampton. His research focusses on international students from mainland China coming to the UK for higher education purposes. He is looking at the trends, motivations and experiences of these Chinese students in the UK.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of great curiosity must be in want of a PhD.


Ian studied Applied Statistics at the University of Reading during his undergraduate days. This provided him with an opportunity to spend a year working with the Office for National Statistics for the 2011 Census. It was there his interest in social statistics began. After spending a year working with a Christian organisation known as Friends International serving international students in Southampton, Ian became increasingly interested in international students, and particularly in East Asia. After doing an MSc in Social Statistics, Ian began studying international student migration, with a particular focus on East Asia. Given the size, importance and rapid change of China on the world stage, Ian’s research became increasing focussed on students in the UK from China.

For his research, he is using a mixed methods methodology, combining his quantitative background with qualitative methods.

Ian also took part on the ESRC DTC (Economic and Social Research Council Doctoral Training Centre) trip to Xiamen University, China, where he took part in an international collaborative project investigating how the experience of the education systems of other countries had an impact in the work of Chinese academics within Xiamen University.

Ian was also a member of the student-led Intercultural Connections Project; an inter-disciplinary mixed methods project investigating how and where (and where not) social interaction were occurring between University of Southampton students of different cultures, and their perceptions of "interculturalness".


Research interests

Primary research group:

Ian’s research interests include migration from (and to) East Asia, East Asian culture, Higher Education in East Asia, the experience of international higher education students within the UK and East Asian demography.

MPhil/PhD research:
Supervised by Professor Jane Falkingham OBE and Professor Pauline Leonard
Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) DTC



Ian is a teaching assistant for:

RESM6004 Quantitative Methods I

RESM6107 Quantitative Methods II

STAT1003 Introduction to Quantitative Methods

STAT6084 Multivariate Analysis



Mr Ian D Forbes
Reception Building 58 University of Southampton Southampton SO17 1BJ United Kingdom
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