What does it mean to be a student today?

Tuesday, December 12, 2023 Durham University, Palace Green

Book launch and symposium to discuss all matters related to being a student (as well as supporting students) in marketised higher education!

This symposium centres around Dr Rille Raaper's new book ‘Student Identity and Political Agency: Activism, Representation and Consumer Rights’ (Routledge, 2023). The book provides a unique, research-informed account of the student experience in multiple higher education settings. Raaper argues that the market forces and consumerist discourses that brutally shape students are also what trigger, enable and disable certain forms of agency.

To discuss the key arguments of the book, this symposium brings together esteemed higher education researchers and interest groups. Alongside Dr Raaper, Professor Rachel Brooks (University of Surrey) and Professor Richard Watermeyer (University of Bristol) will introduce related research on students and universities.

The symposium will end with a panel discussion joined by Dan Lonsdale (Durham Students' Union President) and Sam Dale (Director of Student Support and Wellbeing, Durham University) to consider practical challenges that students face when entering higher education, and how to best respond to these pressing issues in a context where students accumulate increasing amounts of debt, and student mental health is on decline.

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