CGHE Webinar 203

From a rebel to consumer and now a digital user: the changing role of students in British university governance

Date: Thursday, 15 April 2021 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: Zoom webinar
Speaker(s):

Event Materials

This event is now archived and we are pleased to provide the following event media and assets, along with the original event overview.

In this talk, we will focus on the changing role of students in British higher education governance. We will review three societal periods: the welfare state, the market society and the digital economy. Within the past three decades, the student has shifted from a partner with significant involvement in governing universities, to a consumer whose influence reflects in self-interest enacted via choice and consumer rights. Our main argument is that the governing role of students is fundamentally tied to the role of the university in the society and prevailing economic order, and it is therefore changing yet again in the new phase of digital economy. We propose an approach to examine the student role in HE governance in the new digital economy as ‘governing with data’ and ‘governing of data’. In the first case, students are approached as digital users and data producers to inform university practices. In the second, they are made liable to various user agreements but have no actual influence on decision-making. We will discuss the direction of travel for the new student stakeholder as digital user in the contemporary digitalised university.

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