Jabbar, Abdul, Analoui, Bejan David, Kong, Kai and Mirza, Mohammed (2017) Consumerisation in UK Higher Education Business Schools: Higher fees, greater stress and debatable outcomes. Higher Education. ISSN 0018-1560
Abstract

For many UK Higher Education Business Schools, the continued recruitment of UK, EU and International students is crucial for financial stability, viability and independence. Due to increasingly competitive funding models across the sector many institutional leaders and administrators are making decisions typical of highly marketised consumer environments. Thus, this paper explores, academics’ perceptions of the impact of consumerisation in UK Higher Education Business Schools. To achieve this 22 Business School academics were interviewed within three UK Higher Education institutions (HEIs) in the North of England. Participants had a minimum of three years teaching experience. Data was analysed using template analysis taking an interpretive approach. The findings indicate that academics perceived the introduction of tuition fees to have been the catalyst for students increasing demonstration of customer-like behaviour: viewing the education process as transactional, with the HEI providing a ‘paid for’ service. It is argued that these changes in UK Higher Education have created tensions between university leaders and academics, creating genuine dilemmas for those with decision-making responsibilities who must balance academic integrity and long term institutional financial viability.

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