Satisfied with what? Contested assumptions about student expectations and satisfaction in higher education

Leach, Tony (2018) Satisfied with what? Contested assumptions about student expectations and satisfaction in higher education. Research in Post-Compulsory Education. (In Press)

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This paper aims to contribute to the contested body of work about the factors influencing student motivation, expectations, engagement and satisfaction in higher education (HE). Policy surrounding the deployment and use of the National Stu dent Survey (NSS) and the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) constructs social relationships between teachers and students as calculated instrumental exchanges, whereby, in exchange for the fee they pay, students expect to receive an education designed to ensure they have the knowledge, skills and innovative capabilities required by businesses and the economy in the competitive global market place. Drawing on fieldwork conducted between 2011 and 2015; and using narrative data obtained from face-to-face conversations and email interviews with sampled cohorts of post 30s students enrolled on two vocational degree programmes in a post-1992 university; the paper aims to highlight the flawed assumptions about student expectations, engagement and satisfaction, which fail to acknowledge the positive life-changing impact the higher education experience can have on students and in their work. Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, field, capital and illusio, and Goffman’s classic pieces on ‘The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life’, ‘Stigma’ and the ‘cooling out the marks process’, are used to develop this argument.
Key words: student expectations and satisfaction, ‘second chance’ vocational learners, Bourdieu, Goffman, psychological contract.

Item Type: Article
Status: In Press
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
School/Department: School of Education
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/3608

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