Student satisfaction in higher education: settling up and settling down

Claire Skea

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Student satisfaction measures serve to provide a measure of ‘quality’ in the current audit culture of universities. This paper argues that the form of satisfaction valued within contemporary Higher Education amounts to a form of settling, where the primary aim is to settle the students’ expectations, and meet their needs. Drawing initially on the etymology of ‘satisfaction’, the paper then turns to the work of Martin Heidegger and his notion of the ‘uncanny’ (das Unheimliche), to discuss how we are ontologically unsettled. The uncanny will be discussed in relation to the Greek play Antigone, and illustrated with examples from the novel Stoner. In provoking angst or anxiety by leaving students ‘unsettled’ in terms of their thinking, this may open students up to a consideration of more ontological concerns – within their Higher Education but also in their lives more generally.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)364-377
    Number of pages13
    JournalEthics and Education
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2017


    • student satisfaction
    • settling
    • unsettling
    • Heidegger
    • the uncanny


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