The student as consumer: affordances and constraints in a transforming higher education environment

Maringe, Felix (2010) The student as consumer: affordances and constraints in a transforming higher education environment. In, Molesworth, Mike, Scullion, Richard and Nixon, Elizabeth (eds.) The Marketisation of UK Higher Education: th Student as Consumer. London, UK, Routledge, 1-20.


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The chapter addresses the notion of student as consumer and argues that the liberalisation of HE under the GATS has ushered a new era in education in which students feel more like customers/consumers purchasing qualifications from universities. The chapter provides a balanced discussion of the affordances and constraints of adopting the consumer metaphor in education. On the positive side is the greater accountability this brings to HE. The increase in student complaints and litigious issues in HE is a symptom of the greater need for accountability in HE. It is argued that as consumerism increases, so too will the quality of what is taught and the overall student experience. On the other hand however, increasing consumerism might lead to a devaluing of education and the educative processes to become symbolised by the exchange relationship between money and degrees. The chapter utilises Cheney's theoretical propositions against consumerism in education as a basis for the discussion

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 9780415584470 (paperback)
Related URLs:
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Education > Leadership, School Improvement and Effectiveness
ePrint ID: 79661
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
30 September 2010Published
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2010
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:15

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