Generational Encounters with Higher EducationThe Academic-Student Relationship and the University Experience

Generational Encounters with Higher EducationThe Academic-Student Relationship and the University Experience

Jennie Bristow, Sarah Cant, and Anwesa Chatterjee

Print publication date: 2020

ISBN: 9781529209778

Publisher: Policy Press

Abstract

The 21st century has witnessed significant changes to the structures and policies framing Higher Education. But how do these changes in norms, values, and purpose shape the generation now coming of age? Employing a generational analysis, this book offers an original approach to the study of education. Drawing on a British Academy-funded study, comprising a policy review, semi-structured interviews and focus groups with students and with academics of different generations, and an analysis of responses to the Mass Observation Study, the book explores the qualitative dimensions of the relationship between academics and students, and examines wider issues of culture and socialisation, from tuition fees and student mental health, to social mobility and employment. The book begins with a discussion of the emergence of a ‘graduate generation’, in a context where 50 per cent of young people are encouraged to go to University, on the basis that this is a personal investment in their future careers. Subsequent chapters review the policy changes that have led to this framing of Higher Education as an increasingly individualised experience, where ‘student choice’ is operationalised as the means by which Universities are funded and held to account; historical differences in the experience of Higher Education; and the impact of these changes on the role and status of academic staff and the experience of current and prospective students.