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    Having, being and higher education: the marketisation of the university
    and the transformation of the student into consumer
    Mike Molesworth, Elizabeth Nixon* and Richard Scullion
    Centre for Excellence in Media Practice, The Media School at Bournemouth University,
    Poole, UK
    In this paper we express concerns that the marketisation of British higher
    education that has accompanied its expansion has resulted in some sections
    becoming pedagogically limited. We draw from Fromm’s humanist philosophy
    based on having to argue that the current higher education (HE) market discourse
    promotes a mode of existence, where students seek to ‘have a degree’ rather than
    ‘be learners’. This connects pedagogic theory to a critique of consumer culture.
    We argue that a ‘market-led’ university responds to consumer calls by focusing on
    the content students want at a market rate. It may decrease intellectual complexity
    if this is not in demand, and increase connections with the workplace if this is
    desired. Once, under the guidance of the academic, the undergraduate had the
    potential to be transformed into a scholar, someone who thinks critically, but in
    our consumer society such ‘transformation’ is denied and ‘confirmation’ of the
    student as consumer is favoured. We further argue that there is a danger that the
    new HE’s link to business through the expansion of vocational courses in
    business, marketing and related offerings, inevitably embeds expanded HE in a
    culture of having. This erodes other possible roles for education because a
    consumer society is unlikely to support a widened HE sector that may work to
    undermine its core ideology.
    Keywords: Fromm; marketisation; student as consumer; vocational education;
    transformation
    Introduction
    In September 2006 a brochure is sent to staff at a post-1992 British university
    claiming that ‘Higher Education is changing ... and so must we’. It goes on to warn
    that ‘competition is increasing’, ‘students are becoming more demanding’ and that
    ‘we need to communicate in a consistent and engaging way’. It presents a new
    corporate logo, positioning statement and institutional ‘core values’. It concludes
    that ‘it is up to all of us to deliver on the brand’ and to ‘bring the brand to life in
    everything we do’. The overall message is that the higher education institution (HEI)
    is now a business, promoting services via its brand. To further confirm this, the Vice-
    Chancellor sends a solicitous message to staff, ‘[the university] ... will now be
    competing for students, staff, research and enterprise support, rankings and various
    measures of prestige in ways that must seem alien to those who see higher education
    as being above the marketplace throng’.
    *Corresponding author. Email: lnixon@bournemouth.ac.uk
    ISSN 1356-2517 print/ISSN 1470-1294 online
    # 2009 Taylor & Francis
    DOI: 10.1080/13562510902898841
    http://www.informaworld.com
    Teaching in Higher Education
    Vol. 14, No. 3, June 2009, 277?287
    Our concern is that parts of British higher education (BHE) are pedagogically
    constrained by the marketisation that has accompanied its expansion. Given that
    universities once aimed to change the student’s intellectual perspective on the world,
    we use Fromm’s humanist philosophy to argue that the current market discourse
    promotes a mode of existence where students seek to ‘have a degree’ rather than ‘be
    learners’. There has long been a tension between ‘idealised’ notions of the purpose of
    a university and the reality of students’ experiences. Rothblatt (1993) offers a
    compelling history of constant tensions between liberal education and HE. However,
    we believe that the purposes and activities of a university are worth debating
    frequently and we do so now because of recent radical changes in BHE. With the
    degree of marketisation seen in many HEIs, students and the institutions they attend
    look only to satisfy a consumer culture which negates even the possibility that higher
    education changes the individual’s outlook. Instead many HEIs prepare the student
    for a life of consumption by obtaining a well-paid job: a mission of confirmation
    rather than transformation. In effect, our concern is that a market ideology is
    silencing the debate around the purposes of HE because it articulates its possibilities
    so precisely.
    We further consider a HE that focuses on Fromm’s being mode of existence. It
    might be problematic to assume that such a focus is ‘better’ on the basis that it is a
    rejection of a consumer culture, but we note that it is more consistent with accepted
    notions of ‘good’ education, as it credits learning with more than instrumental value
    and seeks to actualise deep learning (Entwistle 1997). We argue here that historic
    arguments for ‘good’ education that seem consistent with Fromm’s being mode are
    no longer necessarily consistent with the criteria used by governments, industry,
    marketised HEIs, or the students and tutors themselves, that now stand within a
    consumer culture based on having.
    The higher education (HE) market
    The expansion of UK HE has created a market for half of 18-year olds. The British
    government appears to be applying capitalist economic principles to HE, competi-
    tion amongst producers to reduce costs and to ‘improve’ their offerings based on
    consumer demand. This creates new forms of competitive relations as 140 HEIs chase
    potential customers from the A-level segments identified by marketing departments.
    For us, some sections of the modern British university have become so embedded in
    a market economy they have lost the will ? perhaps the capacity ? to critique it. Such
    institutions become businesses in a manner qualitatively different to the relationships
    between university and society that Rothblatt (1993) describes. Whilst Rothblatt
    demonstrates that universities have always been attached to some part of society, not
    separate from it, he also makes it clear that the university retained an identity as an
    active agent contributing to society’s self-understanding. Thus we would expect a
    university to have the potential to critically reflect on the market economy beyond
    the campus. Yet today some sections of HE are subsumed in the dominant discourse
    of business and the Times Higher frequently reports on the academic angst caused by
    the onset of such neo-liberal concerns. For example, Mills (2007) writes that
    ironically universities have internalised the vision of students as customers more
    consistently than those in government, claiming that the contradiction of maintain-
    ing both academic standards and customer satisfaction places ‘unbearable demands’
    278 M. Molesworth et al.
    on universities. In the USA some say this position has become a form of academic
    orthodoxy (Potts 2005).
    Evidence of increased market orientation in UK HE is easy to find. Some
    universities are using sales techniques to attract students with free laptops, whilst
    advertisements for HE courses feature job and career prospects very prominently
    (Ford 2007; Lacey 2006; and see Education Guardian 19 August 2006). Our own
    institution is currently running an MA recruitment poster campaign claiming, ‘Get a
    better job, get a Masters’. The Times Higher chronicles this market influence with
    articles reporting, for example, the potential introduction of business executives with
    no teaching experience into school senior management levels (Meikle 2007). The
    economic imperative driving the expansion of HE has also instigated an increase in
    the uptake of vocational degrees (UCAS 2007) which, coupled with the employ-
    ability agenda, prioritises the needs of industry for such universities and this is
    implicit in policy: the massification of HE is designed to support industry by
    providing a ‘better’ workforce.
    This drive to commodify the educational offering is both a top-down and
    bottom-up process. The Treasury, funding councils and vice-chancellors develop
    strategy that leads to a market focus, while many of the expanded student group
    arrive as fee-paying customers knowing how to ‘play’ markets to maximise self-
    interest. They are well versed in the pseudo-sovereignty status afforded them by
    broader consumer culture. Their experiences in commercial marketplaces and their
    confidence as consumers, allow them to carry the same attitudes over to public goods
    such as education. As Caru and Cova (2003) point out, where there is a financial
    exchange, a consumer experience is produced.
    We note from our own experiences in a vocational HE institution, how many
    students have re-formulated this behaviour into beliefs that HE is now their ‘right’.
    We see the emergence of a dominant idea that suggests getting a ‘good degree’ is an
    entitlement paid for by their fees (Naidoo and Jamieson 2005; Potts 2005): they want
    to have a degree, in order to secure a ‘professional’ job. Their desire for a 2:1 is
    framed primarily by its subsequent bargaining power in the job market. They mostly
    do not want to be a learner or scholar of their chosen subject (see Kewell and Beeby
    2003; Waghid 2006). They are not particularly receptive to the idea that through
    immersing themselves in their subject they may change as a person. Indeed there is
    little perceived value in doing so given their desire to attend university is primarily to
    become a more employable person, responding to the restrictive societal interest in
    graduation as a means of personal wealth creation (Gibbs 2001). This change
    appears to be justified and supported by an increasing acceptance that this is the
    purpose of HE, a provision that appears to eliminate transformational opportunities.
    The emerging role of some parts of HE is now to fix in students an unquestioning
    acceptance of the primacy of consumer desires met by market offerings.
    Having and being
    In considering HE as a market addressing consumer ‘needs’ (rather than a public
    good addressing learners’ needs), we turn our attention away from discussions of
    ‘good’ teaching and towards analysis of consumer culture. Fromm’s ideas are useful
    here because they connect both consumer culture and ideas of self-transformation
    that might be at the heart of education. Our presentation of marketised HE is
    Teaching in Higher Education 279
    consistent with Fromm’s suggestion that consumer society results in a dominant
    mode of existence based on having. Such a mode prefers the possession of objects, ‘I
    am more the more I have’ (1976, 5) and more significantly ‘mistakes’ verbs for nouns.
    So students seek to have ideas, or skills as if they were possessions that can be
    bought, rather than to know ideas as ways of seeing the world and skills as ways of
    acting. Fromm might argue that an education cannot be had, but experienced.
    Articulating his concerns 30 years ago, ‘our education [system] tries to train people
    to have knowledge as a possession, by and large commensurate with the amount of
    property or social prestige they are likely to have in later life’ (1976, 34).
    Our concerns are not new but it seems that since then HE has adopted with
    increasing vigour, an orientation that has reduced a degree to an outlay that appears
    to secure future material affluence rather than as an investment in the self.
    Ultimately and publicly, the success of HE is now measured by the numbers of
    students it attracts, by the number of graduates securing well-paid jobs, and by
    research and consultancy revenue, prominently displayed in league tables used to
    assist consumer choice (Naidoo and Jamieson 2005). The overriding criterion by
    which we measure the value of HE is its contribution to the economy. This is what we
    refer to as the neo-liberal university.
    In many ways Fromm’s complaints about a having mode of living are the
    established concerns of Marxism. For example, a desire to have reduces the
    individual’s experience to a desire for something external ? a commodity. In doing
    so, self-knowledge and a satisfaction in one’s own practice is disallowed. The being
    mode foregrounds understanding the self and the practice of skills may be hard
    gained (see Fromm 1993). It is educationally pertinent that a having mode indulges
    the belief that gain may comes without endeavour, ‘people are convinced that
    everything, even the most difficult tasks, should be mastered without or with only
    little effort’ (Fromm 1993, 25). Yet such an approach in education (and Fromm
    explicitly uses education as an example) results in having a qualification without the
    satisfaction derived from mastering skills or the associated potential for personal
    change. More broadly the market ‘easily’ gratifies desires in financial exchanges, yet
    as sociologists of consumption confirm (for example, see Campbell 1987), ‘satisfac-
    tion’ in the market almost always results in new desires. Furthermore, commodities
    are framed as ‘labour-saving’so that ‘the good life is the effortless life’ (Fromm 1993,
    26). Education as a commodity that can now be ‘bought’ is therefore reduced to just
    one round of consumer desire in an endless series of consumption experiences.
    Fromm (1993, 31) contrasts this with a being mode that promotes the ‘will’ to focus
    on achievement and be committed to ‘one thing’. A consumer society diverts and
    seduces in various ways but a being mode of living rejects such superficial pulls.
    Fromm also notes however, that a having mode is necessary in order to maintain a
    capitalist structure and political control of the masses. A being mode is also therefore
    potentially emancipatory.
    Captains of industry are likely to dismiss such arguments on the grounds that
    having is a highly satisfying mode of living, especially if you are fortunate enough to
    have much. Others highlight the structural nature of his dualism, pointing out that
    you can both be in a state of having and have the peace of mind that comes from
    being (Shankar and Fitchett 2002). We are acutely aware of Fromm’s idealism and
    the inconsistency between the need to earn a living within a capitalist society based
    on having and our call for an education for being. However, here we relate Fromm’s
    280 M. Molesworth et al.
    being mode of living to notions of ‘good’ education. Fromm’s work may also be
    inherently elitist, idealist and essentialist: ‘optimal realisation of one’s species
    nature ... is the goal of life’ he claims (Fromm 1976, 77). Yet we consider Fromm
    in this context because of the marketisation of education that positions it as another
    aspect of a problematic consumer culture.
    Students and the having mode
    Students have long experienced a tension between approaching learning with an
    internal drive for self-development and the external requirement to have the right
    amount and type of knowledge to operate in the market. The latter ‘instrumental’
    approach may resonate with our understanding of students’ motivations to study
    (Beaty, Gibbs, and Morgan 1997). We suspect that those students with a
    predominant ‘vocational’ orientation perceive HE as a hurdle to jump on their
    way to a career. Thus, in our vocational HEI, we witness something else that Fromm
    (1976) notes: students submitting to an external authority in order to conform to
    what they see as expected in society. In reducing their degree to preparation for their
    first job, some students focus on assessment and on material they judge most
    relevant in this quest. They expect the syllabus to grant access to their chosen
    industry, so that teaching might merely extend the careers service (Pillay 2004).
    Vocational programmes may even be seen as a commodity purchased in the hope of
    gaining an advantage over others in future employment situations (for example see
    Grosjean 2004). This is an implicit manifestation of what Fromm sees as a
    ‘marketing personality’ where personal attributes are acquired in order to success-
    fully position the individual in a capitalist system. According to Beaty, Gibbs, and
    Morgan (1997), a student’s orientation is both influenced by the campus environment
    and influences the approach taken to study. Thus, a university subsumed within a
    marketing discourse is likely to attract students with such an orientation, and the
    campus environment may work intentionally or otherwise to encourage all students
    to adopt this vocational motivation.
    Beaty, Gibbs, and Morgan (1997) remind us that universities need to cater for
    students motivated by an intrinsic interest in their subject, in scholarly development,
    in the possibility of an emerging love of the subject. Thus it must provide space and
    time for reflection and reinvention, and engage students who seek to be challenged
    and changed as people. Marketisation undermines and weakens this role: for
    vocational institutions particularly, it can be all too easily eradicated. Where there is
    an explicit focus to satisfy a desire for job-related skills, efforts to address other
    concerns may be dismissed by both the institution and the students. Indeed, some
    students consider theory to be pointless. The possibility of understanding a subject
    ‘for its own sake’ is lost.
    Many principles of best practice outlined in educational literature fail to take
    account of the broader political context, currently dominated by neo-liberalism. As a
    result, educationalists often make insufficient linkages between the discourse of
    ‘good education’, which is seen as objective and market discourses that we argue now
    dominate the role of some HEIs that result in evaluations becoming more subjective.
    ‘Good’ education might be based on economic growth, ‘profitable’ HEIs and
    satisfied student-consumers rather than, and regardless of, ideas of sound pedagogy.
    Hence ‘good’ education may even be in critical opposition with both the pedagogic
    Teaching in Higher Education 281
    literature that privileges deep learning and with Fromm’s being mode of living. So it
    is not merely that engendering deep approaches to learning may be discordant with
    vocational students’ orientations to study, our concern is that the opportunity for an
    ‘education for being’ is being eliminated in some HEIs by the discourse of ‘good
    business’, and that to many ‘good business’ and ‘good education’ are now
    synonymous. For example, industry placements have become more popular (Naude ´
    and Ivy 1999) but contribute to the instrumentality of students’ approaches by
    emphasising the acquisition of proficiencies in order to ‘hit the ground running’ in a
    graduate’s first job. In confirming that the role of a degree is to get a job, a placement
    undermines other potential aims for HE. The vocational tag is largely decoded as a
    sales device: as the south coast institution’s internal propaganda puts it, ‘[the
    institution] prides itself on its strong connections with the professions and the real
    world’. The real world, it seems, is the commercial one and education that deals with
    abstraction, critical thought and theory, is placed outside of a student’s ‘real life’. It
    may be particularly ironic in the context of an agenda for lifelong learning that
    learning is dismissed in this way by a vocational focus.
    The desire to secure a professional job on graduation tends to increase the
    importance attributed to assessment. Becker et al.’s US research in the 1960s found
    students’ life at university was dominated by assessment demands even when this was
    at odds with the espoused curriculum (Entwistle 1997). The ‘hidden’ curriculum of
    this environment, the messages received by students implicitly but strongly about the
    values of the institution and so-called ‘success’, obliterates sophisticated forms of
    learning that we understand as indicators of a being orientation. Some students in
    this study believed that attempting to ‘really’ learn something, being a learner, would
    ‘handicap you as far as getting a grade goes’ (Entwistle 1997, 147). Without
    discussion between staff and students of what might constitute ‘success’ in the
    academic environment, getting a degree by achieving a certain mark dominates, and
    the tutor is at least complicit in allowing this to emerge and persist.
    For Fromm then, an education system based on having recreates the subject to fit
    closely into existing consumer culture. But the university experience can and should
    offer a self-reflective space in which a student comes to challenge how we think and
    live and in so doing becomes intellectually more complex.
    Tutors and the having mode
    Fromm’s (1976) claim that the path to a being mode of existence is best followedwith
    a guide, elevates the tutor from a simple ‘customer service’ role to the status of
    mentor, who aims to help the student achieve this state of being (rather than give the
    consumer skills and qualifications in an economic exchange). It is clear in the
    educational literature that students’ behaviour is guided by the perceived demands
    and messages of their teaching staff. Yet Entwistle (1997, 4) has noted that ‘much of
    our current teaching and assessment seems to induce a passive, reproductive form of
    learning which is contrary to the aims of the teachers themselves’. There appears to
    be a ‘contradiction’ between the desires of lecturers, for example, to encourage deep
    learning, and the actual achievements of the students (who are persistently
    instrumental and assessment orientated) that invites tutors to seek ways to change
    the way students learn and this is the focus of much pedagogic research. The
    response to the increasing discrepancies between the tutor’s intentions and students’
    282 M. Molesworth et al.
    instrumental interactions, is often a metaphorical shrug of the shoulders, accepting it
    as the inevitable outcome of new demands on the expanded sector.
    But the marketisation of HE encourages the closure of this gap through changes
    in the tutor rather than the student, by granting the student ‘sovereign consumer’
    status. Fromm’s preferred role of the tutor as mentor has fallen out of line with the
    market discourse of institutions and the socialised desires of the students. Being a
    mentor might mean plenty of one-to-one contact, patience and open discussion, but
    the market demands efficient teaching methods and consumer-students seek
    maximum outcomes for minimal effort. This reconceptualisation ? complete with
    appraisal via the National Student Survey ? presses academics into teaching rooted
    in the having mode, where they reluctantly give students what they need to pass,
    rather than encourage a reflective, critical, being orientation to the world. The
    introduction of tuition fees may embed a view that staff have no right not to award
    the consumer their purchase. And if low grades or high failure rates ? as published in
    league tables ? translate into fewer applications, a direct link may be established
    between high numbers of passes and the economic success of the institution, further
    reducing difficult material and inflating academic policy that maximises pass rates.
    For example, course regulations may allow for lower pass marks, more compensation
    for failed work, more assessment resubmissions, and greater discretion in marginal
    cases; all things that we have witnessed at our institution. Similar issues have been
    reported this year (BBC 2008a; Gill 2008). Another report (Coughlan 2008b) claims
    that overseas students are ‘buying’ masters degrees ? even from ‘top’ UK universities
    without the necessary language and academic skills. The ideology of the market
    justifies these practices by focusing on financial success. And if an institution does
    not meet student expectations, then students will simply find another supplier who
    will. Although some institutions may maintain a ‘premium’ position in the market,
    for others this may cause a competitive urge to secure students and their fees through
    increasing promises of high grades and easy workloads.
    To maximise their connections with industry and reassure potential student
    customers, marketised institutions may also recruit teaching staff directly from
    industry ? the very market space that the institution now serves ? to further ensure
    that industry relevant skills, rather than critical reflections, are the focus of delivery.
    Again, Fromm raised concerns on such issues but Ron Barnett’s work (1997, 2004)
    for example, also highlights why students and now staff may reject the idea of
    intellectual transformation. For Barnett, education should disturb human ‘being’ in
    order to prepare students to cope and thrive in a world of increasing complexity. He
    asserts that the task of education should be to question our existence and that the
    transition towards a being mode can be an uncomfortable experience. Fromm implies
    that a having mode of existence on the other hand, gives an illusion of security and
    only a temporary sense of meaningfulness, that is ultimately empty and futile.
    Tutors need to recognise the complexity of the mentoring process and it is
    debatable whether industry experience is suitable preparation since it is rooted in the
    having mode. Academic training based on being a scholar may be better preparation
    for future mentoring, yet academics are increasingly invited to focus on a having
    mode. They are not scholars, but ‘employees’ who have publications, an RAE score,
    high ‘teaching scores’ and consultancy work. If they have enough, they receive better
    job titles and performance-related pay. Our own institution’s strategic plan details
    the necessity to have a certain percentage of staff with higher qualifications, contacts
    Teaching in Higher Education 283
    in industry and enterprise projects through competitive bidding. The critical voices
    of academics that resist the totalising logic of the market are dismissed as idealistic
    and impractical.
    Vocational education and having and being
    What does this mean for the new HE now being bought for £3000 a year? To have a
    degree as a means to an economically prosperous end, positions the individual within
    consumer discourse and reduces their freedom to engage in opportunities for
    personal transformation. This restriction takes on the mantel of a common sense
    ‘taken-for-granted’ status: since students are attracted to vocational HE because it is
    believed to act as a route into certain careers, why then would that institution put
    effort into criticising these industries? It is not surprising then that students tend to
    reject deep reflection of vocational subjects, especially those rooted in consumer
    culture, such as public relations, marketing or advertising. A student that is
    committed to such work (and the consumer lifestyle that is inherent in these
    professions) may experience unpleasant dissonance where education facilitates
    critical reflection on a consumer culture. So having obtained money from
    consumer-students on the basis of a desire for an attractive job, a curriculum
    must not undermine the ‘done deal’.
    In addition, tutors in the having mode may be more protective of their specialist
    knowledge as a ‘commodity’ to sell to students. Yet access to information afforded
    by new technologies may now undermine the value of ‘possessing’ such knowledge.
    For example, growth in projects like MITs OpenCourseWare makes critiquing,
    connecting, and making sense of knowledge in order to use it creatively more
    important than simply acquiring it, and this is more congruent with a being mode. So
    as some sections of HE become more ‘fact-commodity’ focused the very value of
    having facts is being reduced. If the value of facts is reduced and more critical and
    complex learning is unattractive, what is left to be sold is the passport of the degree
    certificate. In which case a paradox appears, marketised education is not even an
    effective preparation for the workplace because it may not provide the imaginative
    and critical graduates that are able to deal with technological and societal changes
    (let alone instigate changes themselves).
    There is potentially a bigger concern here. A consumer society must offer HE to
    all who want to buy it, but society perhaps cannot afford (or daren’t risk) the sort of
    transformational education that Fromm desires for all, at least not whilst broader
    consumer interests also hold priority in society. So is the HE that results from this
    weight of expectation and thinness of provision an ersatz offer? Can the majority of
    students only be offered something akin to a market that allows all to dine out, but
    for most this means fast food? Being offered a degree that largely involves rule
    following in an environment devoid of uncertainty and intellectual angst might be
    popular, but, to continue with the fast food analogy, such HE is not likely to be
    nourishing for any of those involved.
    It may be easy to criticise our concerns as a call for a return to a golden age of
    education. But this is not quite our point. The tension between a having and a being
    mode of education has long existed and has been persistently articled in pedagogic
    research that calls for deeper learning. We may see it as part of the on-going historic
    tensions revealed by Wittrock (1993), that universities as a collection of institutions
    284 M. Molesworth et al.
    are affected by the broader societal debates about their utility in terms of knowledge,
    research, professionalisation and economic growth but crucially, that universities
    participate and make a major contribution to that debate. Our concern is that once
    HEIs are subsumed within the discourse of the market, their ability to comment is
    reduced. Furthermore, we argue that the marketisation of HE, specifically in our
    case though vocational degrees, has undermined the case for HE even to attempt to
    transform students into a being orientation. The most desirable outcome of
    vocational HE is now accepted (potentially by tutors, students and the management
    of institutions) as the fulfilment of a having mode of living. Such an educational
    ideology ? one that captures it within the market ? is potentially totalising. It may
    stifle the potential for further debate because the criteria for evaluating the purpose
    of HE becomes determined by the market. The role of a university is driven by
    market desires rather than a negotiation with broader society.
    Conclusion
    A being orientation within education requires academic professionals to act as
    sovereign but a market orientation ? a having mode ? must satisfy the desires of
    student customers. Thus a marketised HE environment prevents those who have the
    capacity to co-create a pedagogically sound experience from doing so. Markets
    whose service personnel may persistently and deliberately ignore the most vocal
    wants of their customers and then set them a difficult task that is neither desired nor
    requested are considered failures. Incorporating marketing mechanics into HE thus
    inevitably transforms pedagogic practice from being to having, from a learning
    experience of challenge, risk and potential transformation to one where we mistake
    such experiences as skills to acquire, ‘things’ to possess. Yet as Rothblatt (1993, 72)
    concludes, one tradition of liberal education is to recognise that ‘we are greater than
    the sum of our proficiencies’.
    Fromm’s call for education that directs the individual away from the having of
    consumer culture ? combined with the call of educationalists for HE to develop
    critical and reflective thinkers ? consistent with a being orientation ? may be
    fundamentally at odds with vocational HE. At its heart, the tension is between the
    conception of HE as a financial investment and those who believe it ought to be
    understood in terms of intellectual development. What would be the value of a
    vocational degree in public relations, advertising, media production or leisure
    management, that produced students who may become largely critical of the raison
    d’e ˆtre of the very industries that they are preparing to join? Such reflective students
    might gain employment but perhaps their critical abilities would limit their ability to
    do these jobs without angst about their value or the purpose of the commodities that
    their salaries allow them to buy? Might an education for being produce individuals
    who may come to see no worth in these industries? Might it result in their rejection of
    many of the prevailing dominant norms of society? From this perspective we suspect
    that our consumer society would never knowingly pay for a system that effectively
    encouraged its deconstruction/reconstruction. Calls for a ‘good’ education therefore
    fail to recognise that such education is at some fundamental levels at odds with our
    consumer society, here articulated through using Fromm’s theory of having and being
    modes of living. In this sense the expansion of HE has changed one of its core roles
    for many new institutions, from a source of innovation and critique of existing
    Teaching in Higher Education 285
    culture and norms (albeit a rather elitist one in terms of access), to a source of
    socialisation into existing culture and norms.
    At one level this may represent only a minor concern revolving around the notion
    of public accountability and the lack of transparency in the pedagogic provision of
    some HEIs. Equally, this paper may be seen as simply highlighting how market-
    isation is creating more divergence in the learning experience offered between various
    sections of HE. More cynically, we suggest that the original role still exists in elite
    HEIs, and that expansion of HE now simply masks this, whilst producing a more
    confident and content mass who remain a willing workforce.
    So we conclude with a question: can an expanded vocational HE system that is
    set up for a having mode of living still fulfil the educational promise of personal
    transformation? This is consistent with Shankar and Fitchett’s (2002, 513) call for
    marketing for being, ‘Marketing efforts need to be geared towards helping consumers
    achieve and maintain viable and rewarding states of being’. If this is true for
    marketing in general, it is especially true for a marketised HE. Yet as Caru and Cova
    (2003) point out, the experiential marketing approach that Shankar and Fitchett
    propose for a ‘marketing for being’ contains a particularly narrow definition of
    experience. More marketing theory applied to HE is probably not the answer.
    Instead tutors must critically reflect on their role in maintaining education as
    personal transformation and therefore resist the pressures from both managers and
    students. A step towards this is to vocalise and theorise these concerns, as we do here,
    but ultimately these concerns must be turned into action that resist the current
    dominant discourse of the neo-liberal HEI. We recognise that deliberation on
    practice is demanding and that many of the pressures currently being placed on those
    who work in HE are to ‘work smarter’ ? nearly always a euphemism for market-
    oriented efficiencies. The prime purpose of this paper has been to ask readers to
    engage in the intellectual challenge of reflecting on the role of tutors, students and
    managers within changing HE, using Fromm’s having and being thesis as illumina-
    tion, and in doing so, we aim to reinstate other purposes ? especially the intellectual
    transformation of the student ? within their practice.
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