Book Chapter

The voice of the student as a ‘consumer’


Bunce discusses the impact of students being defined as ‘consumers’ of their higher education. The chapter first considers when and why students came to be defined as consumers in England and Wales, UK, and then reflects upon the advantages and disadvantages associated with treating students as consumers of their education. This discussion includes the perspectives of both students and academic staff, and reviews empirical evidence about the effects of students themselves identifying as consumers on their approaches to learning and academic performance. The chapter concludes with a summary of the challenges for universities when listening to the student as consumer voice and emphasises the importance of striking a balance between making students feel heard, while resisting the notion that ‘the customer is always right’.

Attached files


Bunce, Louise

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development


Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-05-17

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Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of The Voice of the Student as a ‘Consumer’
This RADAR resource is Part of Engaging Student Voices in Higher Education


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