Thursday, 9 February 2017

University students’ unions: changing functions, a UK and comparative perspective

an article by Lu Guan Lingnan (Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China) and Michael Cole and Frank Worthington (University of Liverpool, UK) published in Studies in Higher Education Volume 41, 2016 - Issue 12


In this article, we consider the functions of students’ unions (SUs) through a UK case study.

First, a functional classification of educational representation; wider representation; delivery of commercial services and faciliating a student community is outlined.

Second, we specify a theoretical framework in terms of neo-liberalism and therapeutic ideas of education.

Third, we discuss recent SU functional changes.

Fourth, we interpret those changes through the theories outlined above.

Our contribution to scholarship is threefold; first we study the evolution of UK SUs. Second, we apply theory to interpret these changes. Third, we generate findings that could be applied to develop a comparative international literature.

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