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Let me entertain you: the ambivalent role of university lecturers as educators and performers

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Wong, B. and Chiu, Y.-L. T. (2017) Let me entertain you: the ambivalent role of university lecturers as educators and performers. Educational Review. ISSN 1465-3397

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/00131911.2017.1363718

Abstract/Summary

In England, higher education is more marketised than ever before as the difference between students and consumers is increasingly blurred, propelled by the rise in tuition fees. With students demanding more for their money, the role of university lecturers continues to change. This study explores the ways in which lecturers re-evaluate and reconstruct their roles and responsibilities in light of heightened student expectations. We draw on 30 in-depth interviews with lecturers from the social sciences, across two post-1992 universities in England, where tuition fees have tripled since 2012. We focus on lecturers’ views and experiences of student expectations, as well as the support available to students as we shift towards a more consumerist approach in higher education. We find examples of tension between academic values and consumeristic student expectations as lecturers discuss their precarious positions as an educator as well as an entertainer. We believe that the expanding role of lecturers merits an urgent review at the institutional and national level, to promote and ensure clarity of the boundaries and expectations of teaching staff.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education
ID Code:72350
Publisher:Routledge

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