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Criticizing the Image of the Student as Consumer: Examining Legal Trends and Administrative Responses in the US and UK


Timothy S. Kaye


Stetson University College of Law

Robert D. Bickel


Stetson University - College of Law

Tim Birtwistle


Leeds Metropolitan University - Law School


Education & Law, Vol. 18, p. 85, 2006

Abstract:     
There is widespread concern that higher education is being compromised by being turned into a 'commodity' to be 'consumed'. This article represents an initial attempt to explore the trends in both the UK and US, and considers how the law has responded to them. It argues, however, that there is an important distinction to be drawn between 'commodification' and 'consumerism'. Education has always been a commodity to be bought and sold; the true danger lies in the move to a 'rights-based' culture where students (and politicians) see education merely as something to be 'consumed' rather than as an activity in which to participate. Whilst the law seems thus far to have been something of a bulwark against this movement, it remains an open question as to whether this will continue to be the case if higher education institutions do not themselves act more proactively in challenging this damaging view of higher education.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 74

Keywords: Law, Education, Student, Consumer, University, College

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Date posted: May 8, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Kaye, Timothy S. and Bickel, Robert D. and Birtwistle, Tim, Criticizing the Image of the Student as Consumer: Examining Legal Trends and Administrative Responses in the US and UK. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1130473

Contact Information

Timothy S. Kaye (Contact Author)
Stetson University College of Law ( email )
1401 61st Street South
Gulfport, FL 33707
United States

Robert D. Bickel
Stetson University - College of Law ( email )
1401 61st Street South
Gulfport, FL 33707
United States

Tim Birtwistle
Leeds Metropolitan University - Law School ( email )
Leeds, LS1 3HE
United Kingdom
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