Working Out in the Academy? Why the ‘University is like a gym’ metaphor is flawed.

Dave Webster

Dr Nicola Rivers and Dr Dave Webster

Since the introduction of fees to UK Higher Education there has been a notable anxiety about the notion of the ‘student as consumer.’ In a ‘market’ where student fees mean they are accumulating substantial debt as they study, there is extensive speculation about both the meaning and impact of this shift in perceptions around student identity and expectations. In a piece for the Guardian, The party’s over – how tuition fees ruined university life, Paula Cocozza tries to unpick some of these issues, from the concern that students now feel ‘entitled’ to demand higher marks, and the omnipresence of employability initiatives, to the possible way this impacts student behaviour. The latter is framed in terms of not taking intellectual risks that could imperil their degree marks, yet simultaneously not feeling obliged to attend classes (being pragmatic or strategic, rather than dutiful). One…

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