Browne, employability and the rhetoric of choice: student as producer and the sustainability of HE

Jameson, Jill and Jones, Mandy and Strudwick, Katie (2012) Browne, employability and the rhetoric of choice: student as producer and the sustainability of HE. Enhancing Learning in the Social Sciences, 4 (3). pp. 1-15. ISSN 1756-848X

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Browne, employability and the rhetoric of choice: student as producer and the sustainability of HE
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Abstract

This paper presents a critical reflection of the rhetoric of choice offered in the current system of HE. The theoretical foundation of the discussion draws on the work of Bauman (2007) as a support for a critical stance on the implementation of the recent reviews of HE, for instance by Browne (2010) and Dearing (1997). The concept and agenda of the student as ‘producer’, versus the student as consumer or even student as commodity, are further evaluated in the context of the ‘free’ market and the apparent 'industrialisation’ of HE, which has arguably brought graduate ‘employability’ to centre stage. The work goes on to discuss how student choice of course appears to go beyond judgments about potential job prospects. Along with this, it is argued that the values espoused by consumerism may well have a detrimental effect on the way that students develop
the types of skills that employers say they want. Counteracting this, the student as producer is investigated as a means by which students become active producers of themselves as enterprising citizens, which also has
benefit in respect of their future employability.

Keywords:student choice, HE, student as producer, student as consumer, KIS, employability
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:7298
Deposited On:21 Jan 2013 11:06

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