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Students as consumers? a counter perspective from student assessment as a disciplinary technology.

Raaper, R. (2019) 'Students as consumers? a counter perspective from student assessment as a disciplinary technology.', Teaching in higher education., 24 (1). pp. 1-16.


The notion of students as consumers who exercise educational decisions based on economic self-interest leads to interesting questions about their perceptions of current higher education assessment practices. Guided by a Foucauldian theorisation and the findings from focus groups carried out with students from two European universities, one from the UK and another from Estonia, the article argues that globally dominant consumerist policy discourses have altered but not removed the student experience of constraint in assessment. I argue that students’ response to disciplinary power in assessment has become highly strategic and differs depending on the institutional assessment systems: students from Estonia recognise the powerful position of academics as assessors and find ways to create a good social impression of themselves; their counterparts from the UK, however, demonstrate a tactical approach to their learning and study processes.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Teaching in Higher Education on 26 Mar 2018, available online:
Date accepted:15 March 2018
Date deposited:04 April 2018
Date of first online publication:26 March 2018
Date first made open access:26 September 2019

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