"I can't get no satisfaction": measuring student satisfaction in the age of a consumerist higher education

Carl Senior*, Elisabeth Moores, Adrian P. Burgess

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter, comment/opinion or interviewpeer-review


One could be excused for failing to recognise today’s universities as the inheritors of the global higher education system that arose more than 70 years ago from the ashes of the Second World War. A wave of post-war optimism ushered in a global movement with a utopian vision in which arbitrary divisions such as class, gender and race would be transcended in the pursuit of academic enlightenment (Scott, 1995). Universities were to be one of the key drivers of this change. But, contemporary academia is a distinctly different beast. The enlightenment values of the liberal education model, once the dominant philosophy in universities across the world, are gradually being supplanted by a consumerist ideology (Furedi, 2011): Yesterday’s ‘Cathedrals of learning’ are being replaced by today’s ‘Supermarkets of facts’.
Original languageEnglish
Article number980
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Early online date31 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

© 2017 Senior, Moores and Burgess. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


  • student engagement
  • student satisfaction
  • data primacy
  • measurements
  • innovation
  • Universities


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