Students are not customers

Students are not customers – in the ongoing debate post-tuition fees rise, students are likened, more and more, to customers, but I believe the analogy simply doesn’t ring true. I form this view on the basis that you cannot pay more tuition fee to receive more education, or by the same token, pay more to receive a particular outcome or specific experience. Despite talk of students as customers and education as a commodity, I still believe universities have a clear identity of being for social good and not a business. There is, however, no denying that the rise in tuition fees is driving universities to be run on a more business-like basis. This in itself is not a bad thing, if it prevents complacency and offers students a better university experience. As many universities are likely to see their core numbers decrease, increasingly they will be turning to the unregulated market of ABB+ students.


Read also: Graduate view: ‘we are not customers

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About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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