Student satisfaction in the age of consumer driven higher education
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Description: The global Higher Education sector (HE) is undergoing a metamorphosis. No longer is HE the sole preserve of the privileged few but rather it is now accessible for the masses. The result of such an expansionist philosophy is here and today’s undergraduate students can expect to study at a university that is unrecognisable to higher education establishments of a few decades ago. This is not a one-sided affair and academic staff i.e., the professoriate who encounter the results of such expansionism on a daily basis are also faced with a vastly complex working environment (see e.g., Knight & Senior, 2017). Phrases such as internationalisation, employability, work-based learning as well as the almost ephemeral notion of student satisfaction, among many other things, regular assail the collective consciousness of academic staff around the world. Yet despite such complexity a new model is emerging and this is one firmly embedded within consumer psychology and it firmly places the student as a customer. Here we highlight some negative issues that may arise when HE embraces consumerism. We also discuss a potential solution that may not only ameliorate these issues but actually facilitate excellence in the student learning journeys. Higher education can meet this vast array of modern day concepts face-to-face and still ensure that it serves its core mission and that is to provide students with a higher understanding of various conceptual issues.