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Student engagement and the threat of consumerism: testing assumptions

Carey, P (2015) Student engagement and the threat of consumerism: testing assumptions. International Journal of Advancement in Education and Social Sciences, 3 (1). pp. 1-7. ISSN 2322-0023

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Abstract

In recent years, two potentially conflicting discourses have come to dominate higher education, namely student engagement and consumerism. Student engagement is based on a collegiate model where the student becomes a co-producer in the learning environment. Conversely, consumerism presupposes that the relationship between students and their universities will follow a conventional customer: provider relationship. There is an assumption that these are naturally contradictory. Moreover, students are increasingly positioned as consumers, even though there is little empirical evidence that they see themselves this way or act in a consumerist manner. This paper challenges these assumptions. Based on the survey of 1300 students in a UK University, the paper demonstrates that students do not necessarily see themselves as consumers. Furthermore, a consumerist perspective does not appear to be intrinsically hostile to engagement. An argument is presented that consumerism should be seen as part of a multi-faceted student identity and that university staff should take that into account in reviewing how they connect with their students.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: School of Nursing & Allied Health
Publisher: International Research Operation in Sciences and social Sciences
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2015 08:44
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2015 08:44
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1804

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