⟴ PROBLEM: Should students become the consumers of Higher Education in a more market-oriented model? What makes education a product? Do you consider yourself a consumer? Why? What do you think of it? Is that a problem?

Please answer the questions in the comment field bellow.

For every question: Write a thesis & an explanation.

Here are some ideas on the problem:




15 thoughts on “2 YEAR SS / END OF SEMESTER TASK:

    1. Mazurkina Irina 2.1.2. says:

      In general it’s difficult to say that students are consumers, because the PECULIARITY of the educational activity is that A student becomes an active participant in the learning process, not a passive consumer of education. In addition to the efforts students have to devote themselves to getting knowledge, they must have special skills, aptitudes and motivation to succeed in learning. SO it is not quite right to consider A student only as a consumer. Consumers can buy goods and services freely, while higher education establishments select applicants according to their level of training.
      I consider it as a problem because nowadays a lot of students don’t want to study at university, because in order to get a higher education need to spend a lot of time and effort.
      Nowadays a person who has higher education is more in demand, so the demand for the higher education is great. I guess I am a consumer and even if education is given for free it is still a service. It’s still a product. Only the knowledge that we get in Universities, let us claim that we are enough informed to be considered as a highly qualified specialist. To my mind, a higher education is a step which can help a thinking person to continue his further education in the chosen professional field and related areas of knowledge which will be useful for his further growth and self-development.

  1. Anna Belyaeva says:

    Belyaeva Anna, 2.1.2
    Nowadays students are often considered as consumers of Higher Education in a more market-oriented model. But should it be so? Consumer is a person who uses a product or service. In fact, students are really given educational services, specifically they have opportunity to realize offering facilities and as a consequence to get an ultimate product of services given in institutes of higher education. However, students themselves are involved in the process of education and they contribute significantly to its “outcomes”; they share responsibility for what they get at the end of it. So, “consumer” is not quite a proper word. Treating students only as consumers we depreciate the role of participants of educational process both students themselves and teachers.
    Going deep into marketing sense of education it is necessary to make clear what makes educational process a product. A product is anything that can be offered to a market and satisfy a want or need of its consumer. Indeed, educational services are very called-for nowadays because many people want to get HE in order to take an influential position in society. On account of this different institutions offer various facilities, equipment, infrastructure, standard and quality of education in order to attract more and more students creating by this active competition in education market. Ultimately, all these facts add to educational process more economic sense declining the role of human factor.
    As for me, I realize that I am a consumer in a formal meaning of this word. Nonetheless, educational process is a relationship of exchange but not in the economic sense. Education is inherently communication and relationship-building, not just the transaction where knowledge is somehow dished up by experts like a buffet from which you take what you like. I consider that the language of consumption is generally unhelpful in terms of the academic experience – of course we can use it when we describe some economic aspects, but it is necessary to estimate authentic destination of education.
    Treating students as consumers has currently become a contentious issue. However, this fact has some advantages. To be a consumer means to act as a consumer, to put it another way, students should be more demanding and take a more consumer approach to their education, they should take an active part in educational process and use all the given opportunities and services. On the other hand, it is important to see students as learners and developers but not as consumers, otherwise we undermine the educational and humanistic mission of institutes of higher education.

  2. Eugenia Melanchenko says:

    Eugenia Melanchenko, 2-1-2

    Nowadays economy is everywhere, even in education. Anyhow, students are the consumers of Higher Education already. Let’s see what it means for a student – to be a consumer. First of all, it is necessary to give a definition to the word “consumer” – it is a person who uses goods or services. To some extent, we can say that knowledge is an educational good product or service. But treating students only as consumers is quite wrong. Students engage in the process of education; they themselves contribute significantly to its ‘outcomes’ the process; they share responsibility for what they ‘get’. As we can see, students don’t get knowledge from teachers in a simple and easy way. Education implies their direct participation. That’s why it is important to think of education as a process not a product.
    But on the other hand, nowadays the immixture of Higher Education in the economic system obviously increases. Hence, it’s necessary to point out what makes it a product. Goods and services directed to satisfy consumers’ needs and wants. It is well known that for a person it is much easier to find a job when he or she has higher education. People want to improve their living standards, so they use some facilities that universities, schools, and colleges offer. Thus, these institutions begin to compete: whose facilities are better. In order to attract an audience a lot of programs, special offers, and advertisements are created.
    Am I a consumer? Well, in some respects, it is true. I get knowledge, but it demands efforts on my part.
    The problem of this issue is that people nowadays see education AS A RESOURCE OF GOOD PROFIT – IN THE LIGHT OF FUTURE INCOME. It’s</del> shouldn’t be forgotten that education is not only a product. EDUCATION IS NOT JUST A PRODUCT, BUT A relationship of INDIVIDUALS. SO THE exchange OF INFORMATION SHOULD HAVE PRIME ADVANTAGE, but not the IDEA OF GETTING PROFIT. Education is inherently about communication and relationship-building, not just the transaction where knowledge is somehow dished up by experts like a buffet from which you take what you like. Students need to be actively involved in improving the quality of their courses and modules. They need to see that real defined actions are being taken as a result of their feedback.

  3. Grineva Ekaterina says:

    Grineva Ekaterina 212
    As we all live in the era of consumerism, many spheres of life are influenced by it, and the sphere of Higher Education is not an exception. But the question is whether THE INFLUENCE IS good or not, because if we consider the process of education to be a product or a service, it loses its value. The Merriam – Webster dictionary defines ‘education’ as the action or process of educating or of being educated, so it is obvious that education is a bidirectional process, while as we treat it like a service or product it turns out to be one-sided and it is a problem. You will never gain any knowledge if you just attend lessons, because as the proverb says ‘no pain-no gain’. Students also have to work hard to become smarter and more intelligent. It is much better not to be a consumer, but a partner in educational process. But there are still some advantages in consumption approach, because it is good when students are interested to get the best for the price he pays. From this point of view students can influence their studying process by changing teachers they are not satisfied with, trying to improve conditions for learning and so on. To my mind the studying process gets better when both students and teachers are perfectionists. But as this process turns out to be bidirectional, just as the very process of education, and both sides want to make HE better, we can say that it is not fully influenced by consumerism.
    But still the connection between HE and consumption point of view on it is very tight because nowadays ‘money makes the world go round’. It is better to start from the very beginning to explain why it is so now. First of all, the main point why people want to get HE is that they want to get a better job afterwards and to earn more money. Moreover, it is thought that if you graduate from a prestigious university, you will get a higher paid job, but it is really difficult to enter such universities because there are a lot of people who also want to get there. So many students chose to pay for their education and the price for it is not low at all. And from the very moment you pay for education, you begin to think of it as a product and you become less responsible for its quality. In our country it is hardly possible that you will be expelled if you pay for your education because it is really profitable for the university and everyone understands it. And as more and more universities cut budgetary places and create more and more paid ones and also rise the price, the qualification of students falls. But not only students are influenced by making a product of HE, because many good teachers leave off teaching in an interesting for students way but just come and give lessons in a formal way, so the quality of teaching also falls.
    As for me, I am not used to a consumer’s outlook on education now, because at school I had an opportunity to understand that it is much more useful and fascinating to be not just a consumer in educational process, but an active partner of it. First of all this approach teaches you to think on your own, but not to swot up facts, names and dates. Furthermore, you graduate from university with a big luggage of knowledge which makes a good worker of you. I cannot say whether not being a consumer is a problem until I graduate and face the problem of finding a job, but I am concerned that my knowledge is the greatest wealth that nobody can take away from me. In conclusion I would like to say that it is very important to remember that the real education is not a set of facts but an outlook and features of character that should be developed while studying and learning.

  4. Arutyunyan Asya says:

    Arutyunyan Asya, 2.1.2
    Nowadays, there is an opinion that Higher Education improves OUR quality of life. That is why it is not a surprise that students become the consumers of Higher Education in a more market-oriented model. There is no harm in getting knowledge, skills, and habits, but to my mind, it is necessary to understand that in the consumer relationship, the customers are autonomous. The goal of A consumer interaction is satisfaction, in which WHEN he or she is always right. It means that A consumer is the sole evaluator of the success or failure of the ? WHAT KIND OF ? exchange. However, everyone knows that educational process is much more complicated than the relationship between the consumer and the producer. Students cannot be the ONLY arbiter of their success or failure. In the pedagogical relationship, the teacher has not just the right but the obligation to evaluate the student’s progress.
    According to many sources, Higher Education offers graduates a great variety of jobs to choose. Besides, compared to those who don’t pursue education after leaving school graduates have better access to health care, greater economic stability and security, more prestigious employment and greater job satisfaction, less dependency on government assistance, more self-confidence, and less criminal activity. All this automatically makes education a product that is marketed or sold as a commodity.
    As for me, I can say that I am a consumer. Well, who doesn’t want to make a start for his or her future? Nevertheless, I understand that I can’t take something, WITHOUT giving anything instead. To my mind, the diploma of Higher Education is only a drop in the ocean that can help you just afford something, because all the rest depends on a person, on one’s knowledge, experience, desire and maybe on a stroke of luck. For instance, John Davison Rockefeller, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs achieved great success without getting HE.
    Above all, it is tempting to say that to consider students strictly as consumers is a serious risk for the educational process, because when students become consumers, their relationship to the institution becomes defined in a particular, external way. It means that all teachers need to do is find out what their students want at any given moment and give it to them. But real educational process is not a one-way street; it is a serious teamwork, where everyone performs their own duties: teachers provide information, exercises, clarification, testing; and students apply themselves to their study and do well to prove themselves in all aspects of the discipline.

  5. Maria Koryazhkina says:

    Maria Koryazhkina 2.1.2
    There is no doubt that students become the consumers of Higher Education in a more market-oriented model. To understand that we should know that Сonsumers are people who use products and services for the personal benefit. If we look at students OF Higher Education from this point of view, we’ll see that students use knowledge and skills (which are products of HE) for opportunity to BECOME qualified IN A well-paid job in the future. I can’t say that it’s bad, but in my opinion students shouldn’t be highly under the influence of consumerism as consumerism encourages passivity which isn’t a good thing for people studying in university. There are some aspects that confirm my point of view:
    • Students shouldn’t simply consume knowledge. THEY are encouraged to be active, not passive. FOR EXAMPLE, the understanding of textbooks should be more than passive reading in order to retrieve information for a test or exam.
    • Students with consumerist attitude in university have unrealistic expectations. Instead of CONSUMING an attractive package called education, they have to deal with ingredients that need to be COLLECTED into a FILE WHICH REPRESENT A COMPLETE SET OF KNOWLEDGE.
    • Consumeristic students cannot understand the principles OF REAL HIGHER EDUCATION functioning. In order to be inventive, break rules and go beyond, students need to make peace with certain principles incompatible WITH their desires.
    In some respects we can consider education as a product because AS WELL AS MOST productS IT can be sold, consumed and used. And it is not a secret that education is CONSUMED BY students as an investment. Although, it is essential not to forget that education is not only a product or a process, but a service. And as IT HAPPENS with any service, the customer (a student in our case) GETS WHAT A TEACHER OR UNIVERSITY [AS A VENDOR] OFFERS in the process of the service being delivered.
    Talking about me, in some ways I consider myself a consumer as I want to have an interesting and well-paid job after getting the diploma of Higher Education. Though, I study not only because of this but because I understand that it’s essential to get knowledge just for my self-development.
    To sum up, it’s important to say that the problem of students being consumers is very topical nowadays and THE solution to THIS PROBLEM should be found as soon as possible. Education is AN exchange but not in the economic sense. Education is inherently about communication and relationship-building, not just the transaction where knowledge is somehow dished up by experts like a buffet from which you take what you like.

  6. Liza says:

    Elizaveta Lopatina, 2.1.2
    Nowadays economics covers all areas of human life. It also takes part in an educational sector. And from an economic point of view there is a question if we can call students the consumers of Higher Education. Frankly speaking, I have never considered the problem of education from this side. According to the position of economic science, view on education as a service has a right to exist. From the side of students and the job market we have A demand, and the educational system is responsible for supply. However, from my point of view it is wrong to use only this approach to the educational process. We have such concept as a “tradition of education” which takes roots in the centuries. Education gains a moral and philosophical significance. In this way education can be considered as an important part of THE world culture. More than that, for this approach calling education a service is a simplification and an interruption of the traditions.
    Taking into THE account all of above, I cannot consider myself a consumer of Higher Education. For me education is much more complicated thing than other economic processes. I didn’t think of the demand of my future job on the world market when I was in process of choosing the profession. I need education for self-development and independency. I think that in our world of globalization and consumerism it is really important to call people’s attention to the essential values of life. In this way I prefer to consider education an opportunity to learn some global and essential knowledge of the world. But, certainly, I cannot deny the link between education and economics. Everything is connected and different points of view form a dialectical unity.

  7. Lyubov Vilkova says:

    Lyubov Vilkova
    Lately students become the consumers of Higher Education in a more market-oriented model. They only get information which teachers give but it is only principles.
    Receiving data is not enough for becoming a professional in the field of science. BE WELL-informED is not ENOUGHTH – to become A PROFESSIONAL in the area of activity a student should work hard .
    On the one hand, it is necessary not to forget about self-development. Students should take information from different sources independently. It assists them to start getting ideas which will help in the future. I suppose that additionally people should gain interesting facts because it is very important to be a well-educated person.
    On the other hand, being the consumer is the easiest and THE MOST effective way of getting information. Students should not spend ALL their time on books, LOOKING FOR information. I consider that it is a serious problem because nowadays a lot of students do not want to study at university and believe that going to the institute is groundless spending OF THEIR time. OF COURSE The method is not THE SAME for EVERYONE, I think it is the main reason FOR THESE thoughts. After finishing education they CANNOT find ANY job.
    I guess I am a consumer but I SEE university AS a place where students must take knowledge in spite of ALL THE difficulties BECAUSE THEIR future career MIGHT depend on WHAT THEY LEARN at THE university. A REASONABLE person should take it seriously if he\SHE wants to be A successful and respected MEMBER OF A CIVILIZED SOCIETY.

  8. Veronika says:

    Kirushkina Veronika 2.1.1
    I think, students should definitely become the consumers of Higher Education. Our society today is a field of information. So, information is a main engine of the progress. To become highly skilled workers people should use educational service. It is impossible now to realize yourself without any diploma. A lot of different state and private organizations offer us to become the consumers of their services.
    Undoubtedly, THEIR first goal is to involve more and more people who can pay and earn money. That’s why education today is a product. They provide people with all necessary knowledge for certain price. There are, of course, states universities where you can study FOR free. Unfortunately, the number of such organizations is reducing. Even schools become paid in our country. We can compare now the educational process with buying something material. We pay money and get the product. In my opinion, it is not terrible but there are a lot of disadvantages such as low quality of services. People want to get money by all means, forgetting about the main goal – to do their work well. This problem refers not only to the educational process. It touches also every sphere where people consume something. They are avid and do not care about the future.
    I am certainly a consumer. I am sure that people should use all opportunities of the contemporary world. World’s markets consist of all manner of goods and services. That’s not reasonable to abandon them. We can’t avoid the consumption. However, the consumption must be rational. It is inevitably that all resources will disappear. So, the initial task of the 21 century is to organize their distribution and create different substitutes of them.

  9. Petrova Olga 2.1.2 says:

    In the contemporary world, the economy takes part in all the processes of human’s life. And the Higher Education is not an exception. But should students become the consumers of Higher Education? It is well-known that a consumer is a person who uses products or services. Of course, students take SOME profits of a higher education, but can we call them customers in a market-oriented model? For some students, Higher Education is about getting a good job, so they choose a career-focused professional higher education provider. Another student can attend a university that adopts an approach where the student is not a consumer, but an equal participant of the process of studying.
    It is rather controversial that Educational Process is a product, because a lot of students have to buy it in order to have some knowledge at the end. Students takes part in the process of education, they know what they want and are committed to a particular outcome, so they are responsible for what they get at the end of all their pains.
    As for me, I think I can classify myself as a consumer of Higher Education, because I want to have a job, which would interest me and I understand that without Education, it’s rather difficult to get something worthy.
    To make a conclusion, I’d like to say that not everybody needs this Higher Education, but those, who want to get it, should take an active part in this process if they want to get some profit, which would be helpful in their future life.

  10. Vika says:

    Kirushkina Victoria, 2.1.1.
    To begin with, I want to draw your attention to the word «consumer». A consumer is a person or group of people who are the final users of products or services generated within a social system. Nowadays our government teaches us to be consumers of EVERYTHING. Moreover, NOW there is A CONCEPT OF Education AS a service. On account of introduction of European standards Russian students must be consumers regardless of their will. Besides, there are clear frameworks of educational programs. It makes education a product. Due to such restrictions students can learn less important subjects. For example, I ‘LL SPEAK about my University. We have a lot of Mathematics and Computer Science but we DON’T not have Literature. It is strange for me because I study humanities.
    I consider myself a consumer AND There is a reason, sustaining it. All students use the educational services for their own purposes. It might be important for their future, for example. Well-educated people have great chances to get a well-paid job. SO this service is necessary for everyone BUT WHEN WE consume without CONTROL, IT becomes a big problem FOR modern SOCIETY. Because we CANNOT predict the consequences.

  11. Svetlana says:

    Sopova Sveta
    The life of modern MAN IS basED on different relations between people and the biggest part of them ARE RELATED TO CONSUMERISM. There are a lot of advertisements of different kind of goods and services around us and Higher Education is not an exception. The IDEA that Higher Education is the main condition of the successful life leads to THE FACT THAT HE becomes the Top product on the market. SO, can we call the process of education a product or a service?
    On the one hand we can, AND IF education IS A product, THEN WE ARE the consumerS. We get some knowledge and we pay for it like FOR other products and services. And the demand on this product is increasing every day. There are a lot of institutions with great amount of different faculties. And ONE can choose what he wants. But on the other hand, education is a bidirectional process which presupposes active participation of students and teachers. If you pay a high price for education and don’t TAKE PART IN THE PROCESS you will not beCOME a good specialist. The study in the most prestigious universitIES DOESN’T guarantee that you will get a WELL paid job. The process of education IS SOMETHING much MORE SERIOUS than THE PROCESS OF CONSUMPTION, WHEN YOU CAN BUY WHATEVER YOU NEED.
    As for me I don’t consider myself a consumer. I must have the diploma of BA to get A job but if I DON’T have enough knowledge I WON’T be a good specialist. So my future life depends only ON me. I think that HE is a product of consumption only from the formal POINT OF VIEW AND it’s important to remember this. OTHERWISE the quality of education begins to fall. The teachers will worry only about the material side and the students will consider that studying means paying.

  12. Dvoryaninova Julia says:

    Dvoryaninova Julia, 2.1.1

    Nowadays consumerism is a part of our life. EVERYONE who BELONGS TO contemporary society is a propagandist of the inflicted world wave of advertisement and marketing. One wears Branded clothes, drinks and eats publicized products and takes money from popular city bank. I`m talking about the material objects that people consume. But there are also moral OR SPIRITUAL VALUES WHICH ARE consumeD BY PEOPLE AND THIS POINT deserveS our attention. Let`s consider it IN detail.
    To put it clear, First I want to do is to point out things which I call the moral objects of consumerism. One of such things is culture. Books we are reading, plays we`re watching in the theatre, music we are listening and etc. all these things are under pressure of THE cultural consumerism AND education IS AMONG THESE SPIRITUAL THINGS. Especially Higher Education. The CONSUMPTION of Education is imperceptible, but IT IS A PART OF THE global ECONOMIC EXCHANGE.

    Fortunately or not, without HE it is hard to find one`s place in the complicated world OF TODAY. For some people it is impossible. And I am among them. To my mind, it is really a problem that some people cannot get the HE, and I`m ready to become the consumer and to MAKE IT more market-oriented. Educated PEOPLE are open-minded, THEY understand the world around them. THEY ARE, SO TO SAY, just adequate people. When you meet such A person it is EASY to SEE his intelligence and UNDERSTAND HIS IDEAS. Such people inspire and motivate to action. And it becomes really important FOR you to LEARN things which such PEOPLE know. SO, thanks to educated and INTELLIGENT people, education becomes an aim and a product to consume. Because those who already have a degree become examples for the rest. And that is why, I think, this process might really represent a consumeristic scheme. And I realized that till this moment I was AMONG THOSE who were under THE PRESSURE OF HE consumer CRAZE, but now I CONSUME it WISELY. And I want to help people, to open their eyes and to show the possibilities of a product. But I`m too far from it and just a student who is ready to propagandize HE.
    I know there ARE TOO MANY PROBLEMS WITH globalization AND CONSUMERISM in our world. But I consider IT a disadvantage till THE SPIRITUAL SIDE OF THIS CONSUMPTION IS ON THE MARGINS. Furthermore, ONLY WE CAN MAKE ALL actionS PURPOSEFUL AND FIND the right COURSE TO make this world better EVEN.

  13. Tatiana Ivanova says:

    Tatiana Ivanova, 2.1.2

    Presently we live in the era of consumerism: time when almost everything can be bought since one has money. But the question is whether it works with education.
    Nowadays people are sure that the payment made for a course in University guarantees them to become physicians, scientists, linguists and other specialists. However, in some time their illusions clear away and all expectations turn into disappointment.
    The point is that we cannot take education for a product. As Francois Therin stresses, education is a service, “and as with any service, the customer is an actor in the process of the service being delivered”. Thereby, knowledge we are willing to get in the end, is something we cannot just buy, but are able to gain working hard and being wholly involved in the process of studying.
    Nevertheless, the economic aspect undoubtedly remains. People need knowledge and go to where it is offered, as if they wanted food and went to a supermarket for it. Anyhow, we are to pay for teachers’ efforts and time, books and the equipment, rent of the institution. But what one should always remember is that it is impossible to buy knowledge or experience. Thus, there is no way of being a consumer of education, no matter how much one wants it.
    By the way, there are a few institutions offering free courses. Yet in order to get there you have to possess enough knowledge to compete and be chosen. I am lucky to study in University, not paying for anything. And even if I had had to, still I wouldn’t have considered myself a consumer. Money lets you become a student, but is useless if you do nothing. As professor Janet Beer from Oxford Brookes University noted, education is a kind of partnership. It is all about exchange of knowledge and experience.
    I do enjoy studying. For me it is like exploring the world, always discovering something new. It is incredibly wonderful to learn what you have not known and become able to do what you could not do. A person can make an expert of oneself through his/her efforts. Not a product or money spent on it can.

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