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Students paying big fees want a better experience

Helen Lock | the times | 28 September 2016 

PA Consulting Group’s Mike Boxall, a higher education expert, is quoted in The Times. Mike talks about mounting pressure on universities to raise standards and improve the learning experience now that students have consumer rights in higher education.

Mike says: “Turning the student into a consumer has been a mixed blessing. In some ways it has been really successful. In the space of just three years it is clear that universities have been incentivised to look after student needs more carefully, far more so than previously.”

Mike goes on: “At the same time we are slightly in danger of over-commodifying education, seeing it only in instrumental terms. Students are being encouraged to view university only as a place to improve their earnings later.”

Commenting on news that universities are giving out gifts to attract students with good grades, Mike says: “You hear of universities offering season tickets for the football along with their unconditional offers rather than talking about the quality of the education they provide.” 

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