What is value? What is satisfaction? And what is 'transformational'? A perspective on the challenge of the student-as-consumer

Voase, Richard (2019) What is value? What is satisfaction? And what is 'transformational'? A perspective on the challenge of the student-as-consumer. In: Association for Event Management Education: 16th Educators' Forum, 3-4 July 2019, University of Hertfordshire.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
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Abstract

The contemporary student experience is subject to three emergent changes. The first is the marketization of higher education and impact on student attitudes. The second is the ubiquity of social media and portable communications devices, and their impact on student aptitudes. The third is the impact of software systems on the way the sector is run and governed. The paper draws on recently-published academic studies to construct and support an argument. It is suggested that the construction of the student as consumer, rather than student as explorer, engenders a sense of entitlement that inhibits the disposition for intellectual adventure. The student’s participation in the virtual world of social media, ever-present via the smartphone, engenders a level of distraction that further inhibits disposition to explore. The proliferation of diverse managerial software facilitates the uncritical collection of student evaluation data: ‘uncritical’, because the nature of student satisfaction depends on whether the student seeks challenge or comfort. A proposed response is to revive intellectual curiosity in the curriculum by means of a ‘general stream’ of lectures, running through the three years of the degree, and lightly examined by means of an end-of-term essay. These classes would draw on cross-university staff specialisms, and draw on the arts, the sciences and the social sciences. The limited reappearance in the UK of a liberal arts tradition provides a model to emulate. The purpose would be to re-ignite the concept of the student-as-adventurer, engaged in an authentically transformational experience, as against the constrained instrumentalism of the student-as-consumer.

Keywords:student-as-consumer, student satisfaction, marketization, liberal arts
Subjects:X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:36459
Deposited On:19 Jul 2019 08:50

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