Little, Brenda and Williams, Ruth
Students' roles in maintaining quality and in enhancing learning - is there a tension?
Quality in Higher Education, 16(2)
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This article is about student engagement and in particular the engagement of students in internal institutional quality assurance processes in the UK. It discusses the extent to which the introduction of more explicit internal and external quality assurance processes militate against the notion of the student as a part of a 'cohesive learning community' in favour of the notion of the student as 'consumer'. Based on findings from a research study on student engagement undertaken for the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the article notes an underlying rationale of student as consumer still prevails in many institutions' quality processes. Such a rationale is hampering students' full engagement in learning communities in ways that inform and enhance the collective student learning experience. Whilst these findings are drawn from a UK study, they may also have some relevance for other countries facing similar challenges.
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