Rees, Oliver (2020) An Exploration of the Impacts of Commercialisation on Student Behaviour in Higher Education. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This research topic explores the commercialisation of Higher Education in the United Kingdom (UK) and it investigates the impact that commercialisation has on student behaviour. The research objectives were centred on the impact commercialisation has had on student’s behaviour and expectations, this included looking at the views of teachers in higher education so that this could be contrasted to the student’s response.

The sample was conducted through questionnaires dispensed to business students throughout all three year groups at Huddersfield university, and was achieved during classroom in order to maximise response rate.

This research applied a mixed methodological approach; the study used a range of methods to ascertain information on universities and students. It did this by using qualitative interviews with two university lecturers, and by using quantitative questionnaires for students that were designed to find out student perspective of their experience of university and to determine if commercialisation had an impact on their behaviour.
When looking at the themes brought up by the qualitative interviews, they were very much about the changing way universities are operating and the changing ways students were behaving, with both tutors citing a strong relationship with students, having strong customer-like expectations and exhibiting consumer behaviour.

The research findings show that students at university do show signs of consumer-like behaviour to varying degrees but not uniformly, and that this can manifest differently depending on the students themselves. The findings show stronger customer-like expectations from overseas students over home students and that students in the final year of university exhibit much more consumer-like behaviour when it comes to passing or failing their own degree. However the findings also show that contrary to what the literature bears out, students do not view themselves as consumers and that as they progress through university, students seem to show less inclination towards acting like consumers.

FINAL THESIS - Rees.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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