21 November 2022 | EQAF Paper

For whom is it valuable? Or: What is the value of satisfaction of the semi-finished product? Philosophical questions in higher education and the implications for quality

Eltjo Bazen (HU UAS Utrecht)

Not many people ask the question of what exactly in higher education is valuable, and for whom. In this article the author uses a sharp question to research what higher education brings, and to whom. Three approaches are identified.


In the Student-centered approach, the gained knowledge, skills and attitude are the valuables that are transferred to the students. Student satisfaction is the main quality indicator. The Society-centered approach looks at society as the place where the value lands. The developed student is the vehicle, a main quality indicator for society is the judgement of experts: is the student worth the diploma? In the Employer-centered approach the working environment of the graduate is where value is added. Employer satisfaction on how well the graduate is performing professionally is the main quality indicator.

Interestingly enough, the student moves from being receiver of the process of higher education, to being a ‘semi-finished product’.

This paper was presented at EQAF and reflects the views of the named authors only.

ISSN: 1375-3797

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