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Value for money and the commodification of higher education: front-line narratives

Wilkinson, L. C.; Wilkinson, M. D.


L. C. Wilkinson


This paper provides a critical interrogation of government-led reform of higher education (HE) in England. Its focus is marketisation, and in particular, the concepts of ‘value for money’ (VFM), teaching excellence, and students as educational consumers. Hitherto, research on VFM in HE has been largely quantitative in nature and primarily focussed on student perceptions. This qualitative research study contributes to existing knowledge, by comparing the perceptions of students and university lecturers in the social sciences. Undertaken at a Northern university between 2017 and 2019, it highlights key concerns around changing student expectations, managerialism and the potential instrumentalisation of learning and teaching. The issues explored here lend themselves to a broader based study across different types of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and different cognate areas.


Wilkinson, L. C., & Wilkinson, M. D. (in press). Value for money and the commodification of higher education: front-line narratives. Teaching in higher education, 1-17.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 31, 2020
Online Publication Date Sep 14, 2020
Deposit Date Sep 15, 2020
Publicly Available Date Mar 15, 2022
Journal Teaching in Higher Education
Print ISSN 1356-2517
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 1-17
Keywords Education
Public URL
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