DESPITE CRITICISM, the student as a customer metaphor is gaining ground. In  Western economies, universities under market pressure, competing for resources, are readily prepared to accept students as customers.

For universities, students are the bearers of  precious financial resources in terms of tuition fees, and they can choose universities based on ranking, quality evaluation or referrals from friends and family.

GLOBALLY, Higher Education has been going through fundamental changes for some time. There has been an ideological and organizational shift due to the increasing pressure from market forces.

When markets were liberalised, private profit-making institutions were allowed to enter into the higher education sector.

Students now typically choose from a  range of universities based on price, quality and availability. Universities are now working hard to attract and retain students and they consider the quality of service as a key determinant.

Satisfying the need of the students is an important objective for higher education institutions., and these changes are largely attributed to the policy towards their marketisation

Take the case of, Pakistan, which is affected by the same changes as part of the transformation of the country's higher education sector since the establishment of the HEC in 2002 and after the entry of the private sector.

The latest estimates suggest that there are 1.2 million students in Pakistan enrolled in roughly 200 higher education institutions [HEIs], both universities and degree awarding institutions [DAIs], in the public and private sectors.

However, ironically there is no evidence that these students are being listened to or that their opinions and feedback on their learning experience are being sought.

The honor and serving of the latest Global Operational Research on Higher Education, continues. The World Students Society thanks author and researcher Dr. Shakil Ghori, MS London School of Economics and a PhD in Higher Education from Oxford Brookes University.


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