Student Involvement in University Quality Enhancement

  • Manja Klemenčič


Calls to improve the quality of higher education have become more prominent in recent years everywhere. The quality of higher education has been gaining attention around the world, especially in view of ‘massification’ and the rising cost of higher education. An ever-larger share of population in individual countries is enrolled in higher education. This situation offers immense opportunities for human capital development through quality higher education. Equally, poor educational conditions incur significant costs in terms of missed learning opportunities and unsatisfactory student experience. As higher education has increasingly become linked to economic progress and social well-being, governments demand accountability and evidence for quality in return for public money invested into higher education (Klemenčič, Ščukanec and Komljenovič, 2015). The increase in higher education enrolments puts pressure on the quality of higher education provisions, as it becomes more difficult to give students the educational treatment that they tend to value most: personalized, with flexibility in terms of modes of learning and materials, and ample one-on-one time with teachers and advisors (McCormick, Kinzie and Gonyea, 2013). The pressure is greater in mainstream, non-elite institutions that have often expanded beyond their capacities, and that cater for the majority of students within national higher education systems. The increased diversity of student populations, with different backgrounds, expectations and learning needs, present further challenges for institutions to develop conditions that enable quality higher education for all.


High Education Student Engagement Institutional Quality Capability Approach Student Involvement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ashwin, P. and D. McVitty (2015) ‘The meanings of student engagement: implications for policies and practices’, in R. Pricopie, P. Scott, J. Salmi and A. Curaj (eds) Future of Higher Education in Europe (Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer).Google Scholar
  2. Astin, A. W. (1985) Achieving Educational Excellence (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass).Google Scholar
  3. Bandura, A. (2001) ‘Social cognitive theory: an agentic perspective’, Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 1–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. BIS (Department for Business Innovation and Skills) (2011) Higher education: Students as the heart of the system. Report for Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) (London), Retrieved January 15, 2015, from–944-higher-education-students-at-heart-of-system.pdf.
  5. Buchter, J. F. (1973) ‘Contract law and the student-university relationship’, Indiana Law Journal, 48(2), 253–268.Google Scholar
  6. Clark, B. R. (1983) The Higher Education System: Academic Organization in Cross National Perspective (Berkeley: University of California Press).Google Scholar
  7. Cooper-Hind, H. and J. Taylor (2012) ‘Student complaints: an accurate measure of student dissatisfaction?’, Higher Education Review, 44(3), 54–80.Google Scholar
  8. Dill, D. D. (1982) ‘The management of academic culture: notes on the management of meaning and social integration’, Higher Education, XI, 303–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dill, D. D. (2012) ‘The Management of academic culture revisited: integrating universities in an entrepreneurial age’, in B. Stensaker, J. Välimaa and C. Sarrico (eds) Managing Reform in Universities: The Dynamics of Culture, Identity and Organisational Change (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan).Google Scholar
  10. ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance) (2009) Standards and guidelines for quality assurance in the European higher education area Retrieved January 15, 2015, from
  11. Farrington, D. (2000) ‘A study of student-institution relationships in selected member states of the Council of Europe’, European Journal for Education Law and Policy, 4, 99–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Grigsby, M. (2009) College Life through the Eye of Students (Albany: SUNY Press).Google Scholar
  13. Hirschman, A. O. (1970) Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).Google Scholar
  14. Hofstede, G. (1997) Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind (New York: McGraw-Hill USA).Google Scholar
  15. Klemenčič, M. (2012a) ‘The changing conceptions of student participation in HE governance in the EHEA’, in A. Curaj, P. Scott, L. Vlasceanu and L. Wilson (eds) European Higher Education at the Crossroads: Between the Bologna Process and National Reforms (Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer).Google Scholar
  16. Klemenčič, M. (2012b) ‘Student representation in Western Europe: introduction to the special issue’, European Journal of Higher Education, 2(1), 2–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Klemenčič, M. (2014) ‘Student power in a global perspective and contemporary trends in student organising’, Studies in Higher Education, 39(3), 396–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Klemenčič, M. (2015) ‘What is student agency? An ontological exploration in the context of research on student engagement’, in M. Klemenčič, S. Bergan and R. PrimoŽič (eds) Student Engagement in Europe: Society, Higher Education and Student Governance, Council of Europe Higher Education Series No. 20 (Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing).Google Scholar
  19. Klemenčič, M. and I. Chirikov (2015) ‘On the use of student surveys’, in R. Pricopie, P. Scott, J. Salmi and A. Curaj (eds) Future of Higher Education in Europe (Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer).Google Scholar
  20. Klemenčič, M., Šcćukanec, N. and J. Komljenovič (2015) ‘Decision support issues in Central and Eastern Europe’, in K. Webber and A. Calderon (eds) Institutional Research and Planning in Higher Education: Global Contexts and Themes (New York: Routledge Press/Taylor&Francis).Google Scholar
  21. Krücken, G. and F. Meier (2006) ‘Turning the university into an organizational actor’, in G. S. Drori, J. W. Meyer and H. Hwang (eds) Globalization and Organization: World Society and Organizational Change (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  22. Long, E. L. (1992) Higher Education as a Moral Enterprise (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press).Google Scholar
  23. Leck, J. D. and D. M. Saunders (1992) ‘Hirschman’s loyalty: attitude or behavior?’, Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 5, 219–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Macfarlane, B. (2012) ‘Re-framing student academic freedom: a capability perspective’, Higher Education, 63, 719–732.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. March, J. G. and J. P. Olsen (2009) The Logic of Appropriateness, Arena Working Papers WP 04/09 (Oslo: ARENA).Google Scholar
  26. Marginson, S. and G. Rhoades (2002) ‘Beyond national states, markets, and systems of higher education: a glonacal agency heuristic’, Higher Education, 43, 281–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Masterson, S. S. and C. L. Stamper (2003) ‘Perceived organizational membership: an aggregate framework representing the employee-organization relationship’, Journal of Organizational Behavior, 24, 473–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. McCulloch, A. (2009) ‘The student as co-producer: learning from public administration about the student–university relationship’, Studies in Higher Education, 34(2), 171–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McCormick, A. C., Kinzie, J. and R. M. Gonyea (2013) ‘Student engagement: bridging research and practice to improve the quality of undergraduate education’, in M. B. Paulsen (ed) Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research (Vol. 28) (Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer).Google Scholar
  30. Molesworth, M., Nixon, E. and R. Scullion (2009) ‘Having, being and higher education: the marketisation of the university and the transformation of the student into consumer’, Teaching in Higher Education, 14(3), 277–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Naidoo, R. and I. Jamieson (2005) ‘Empowering participants or corroding learning? Towards a research agenda on the impact of student consumerism in higher education’, Journal of Education Policy, 20(3), 267–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Naidoo, R., Shankar, A. and E. Veer (2011) ‘The consumerist turn in higher education: policy aspirations and outcomes’, Journal of Marketing Management, 27(11–12), 1142–1162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Nathan, R. (2005) My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student (Ithaca: Cornell University Press).Google Scholar
  34. Nussbaum, M. (2006) Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).Google Scholar
  35. Reay, D., Davies, J., David, M. and S. J. Ball (2001) ‘Choices of degree or degrees of choice? Class, “race” and the higher education choice process’, Sociology, 35(4), 855–874.Google Scholar
  36. Redding, P. (2005) ‘The evolving interpretations of customers in higher education: empowering the elusive’, International journal of consumer studies, 29(5), 409–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Richardson, J. T. E. (2013) ‘The National Student Survey and its impact on UK higher education’, in M. Shah and C. Nair (eds) Enhancing Student Feedback and Improvement Systems in Tertiary Education, CAA Quality Series (5) (Abu Dhabi: Commission for Academic Accreditation, UAE).Google Scholar
  38. Riesman, D. (1998) On Higher Education: The Academic Enterprise in an Era of Rising Student Consumerism (New Brunswick, Transaction Publishers).Google Scholar
  39. Schwartzman, R. (1995) ‘Are students customers? The metaphoric mismatch between management and education’, Education, 116(2), 215–222.Google Scholar
  40. Sen, A. (1999) Development as Freedom (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  41. Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (2011) The capability approach, Retrieved January 15, 2015, from
  42. Stensaker, B. and S. Michelsen (2012) ‘Governmental steering, reform and the institution-alization of student interest in higher education in Norway’, European Journal of Higher Education, 2(1), 20–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Strayhorn, T. L. (2012) College Students’ Sense of Belonging: A Key to Educational Success for all Students (New York; London: Routledge).Google Scholar
  44. Swidler, A. (1986) ‘Culture in action: symbols and strategies’, American Sociological Review, 51, 273–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Thomas, L. (2012) Building Student Engagement and Belonging in Higher Education at a Time of Change: Final Report from the What Works? Student Retention & Success Programme (United Kingdom: Higher Education Academy). Retrieved January 15, 2015, from Scholar
  46. Tinto, V. (1993) Leaving College: Rethinking the Causes and Cures of Student Attrition, 2nd edn (Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press).Google Scholar
  47. Van Andel, J., Botas, P. C. P. and J. Huisman (2012) ‘Consumption values and empowerment of the student as customer: taking a rational look inside higher education’s “Pandora’s Box”’, Higher Education Review, 45(1), 62–85.Google Scholar
  48. Walton, G. M. and G. L. Cohen (2007) ‘A question of belonging: race, social fit, and achievement’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(1), 82–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Manja Klemenčič 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manja Klemenčič

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations