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Until recently government policy in the UK has encouraged an expansion of Higher Education to increase participation and with an express aim of creating a more educated workforce. This expansion has led to competition between Higher Education institutions, with students increasingly positioned as consumers and institutions working to improve the extent to which they meet ‘consumer demands’.

Especially given the latest government funding cuts, the most prevalent outlook in Higher Education today is one of business, forcing institutions to reassess the way they are managed and promoted to ensure maximum efficiency, sales and ‘profits’. Students view the opportunity to gain a degree as a right, and a service which they have paid for, demanding a greater choice and a return on their investment. Changes in higher education have been rapid, and there has been little critical research into the implications. This volume brings together internationally comparative academic perspectives, critical accounts and empirical research to explore fully the issues and experiences of education as a commodity, examining:

  • the international and financial context of marketisation
  • the new purposes of universities
  • the implications of university branding and promotion
  • league tables and student surveys vs. quality of education
  • the higher education market and distance learning
  • students as ‘active consumers’ in the co-creation of value
  • changing student experiences, demands and focus.

With contributions from many of the leading names involved in Higher Education including Ron Barnett, Frank Furedi, Lewis Elton, Roger Brown and also Laurie Taylor in his journalistic guise as an academic at the University of Poppleton, this book will be essential reading for many.

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