Click here to skip to content

Welfare reform on the Web (March 2007): Education - UK - Higher

Are students customers? TQM and marketing perspectives

L. Eagle and R. Brennan

Quality Assurance in Education, vol.15, 2007, p.44-60

As students in the UK are expected to pay ever higher tuition fees, there is an increasing tendency to refer to them as customers. Critics of this trend argue that the incursion of the “customer” concept into higher education degrades standards and damages the student/teacher relationship. On the other hand advocates of the idea argue that it is self-evident that people who pay for a service are customers and should be treated as such. In this paper, by evaluating mainly American evidence and by examining the student-as-customer notion from the perspectives of Total Quality Management and marketing, the authors demonstrate that these polarised and simplistic responses to the idea of the student-customer are unhelpful. They argue that a sophisticated interpretation of the student as customer concept in higher education can be of use to managers and policy makers.

Barriers to brand building in UK universities?

C. Chapleo

International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, vol. 12, 2007, p.23-32

Branding has become a topical issue among UK education marketing practitioners, with some institutions committing substantial financial resources to branding activities. This paper investigates barriers to brand building in UK universities, through interviews with Vice Chancellors, Principals and Rectors. Issues that emerged included:

  1. Uncertainty among interviewees about their role in brand management
  2. Lack of internal acceptance and support for the branding concept
  3. Difficulty in identifying a clear “brand principle” or point of differentiation

Going up without going away? Working-class women in higher education

Y. Taylor

Youth and Policy, issue 94, 2007, p. 35-50

Widening participation in higher education is a priority for the New Labour government, but policies fail to address inequalities within the higher education environment. Even when working class students have “made it” to university, they are excluded and marginalised by their middle class peers. Working class students in an environment where middle class norms, values and standards prevail feel like intruders who simply do not fit in. This article explores the situation through an analysis of interview data from seven female students who identified themselves as working class.

University applicants undeterred by fees

R. Garner

The Independent, Feb. 15th 2007, p.8

Figures released by UCAS have revealed that there has been a 6.4% increase in university applications. Government ministers feel that their policies with respect to the introduction of course fees have finally been vindicated. However, the increase in applications has put encouraged universities to call for an increase in tuition fees, currently capped at £3,000. Ministers have stated that a rise in the upper limit of university fees will not be considered until 2009. Meanwhile, the government has promised to provide cash aid totalling £600m to universities to help them raise money from private sources.

Widening the gap: pre-university gap years and the “economy of experience”

S. Heath

British Journal of Sociology of Education, vol.28, 2007, p.89-103

Taking a year out between the completion of A-levels and the commencement of higher education is increasingly popular among British university entrants. It is presumed that the gap year enables young people to acquire soft skills, achieve greater maturity and become more independent. These attributes are increasingly sought by employers and admissions tutors. A gap year which has offered opportunities to engage in high quality horizon-broadening activities thus gives applicants an edge in the competition for entry to elite institutions. However, the more highly regarded overseas gap year experiences remain the preserve of the more affluent young people.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web