Canning, J. (2017) Conceptualising student voice in UK higher education: four theoretical lenses. Teaching in Higher Education,
Abstract: The ‘student voice’ is highly profiled in UK higher education, yet highly under-theorised. Over the past 20 years UK universities have gone from a taxpayer-funded, free at the point of use model, to one supported through tuition fees via Government-backed loans. Subsequently, there is a growth of discourse about universities as businesses and students as paying customers/consumers whose opinions and demands must be considered. This article outlines four possible theoretical lenses (or frameworks) through which student voice can be analysed, enabling an exploration of the vested interests and power relations entailed. These lenses draw on (1) research on student voice and power in compulsory education; (2) regulatory capture from Economics; (3) the notion of students voice as part of an incomplete whole and (4) non-representational theory, developed in Human Geography by Nigel Thrift.