A university is an institution of higher learning and research awarding degrees in various fields, where students are viewed as raw materials to be refined to products. The idea of viewing students as products dates way back to Aristotle’s definition of university students as empty vessels which are being filled through education (Moran, 2010). In this case, the professors are the processing machines while the university is the industry. The paper provides detailed argumentations of why universities should view students as the products.
Educating students is not like widget marketing because students are not customers. Customers are always right in whatever they say, but a student is not always right. The professors, such as medical doctors, have an obligation to inform the students what they need to hear, and not what they want to hear (Powell & Kalina, 2009). Furthermore, unlike widget selling to customers whose success lies more on selling within a shorter period, success in student education cannot simply be qualified in teaching many units after a short period. It needs more time with a recommended number of units to produce a quality product to befit the profession of calling. A degree is the attainment of a specific level of knowledge and skill gained through following of specific instructions which is devoid of customers in the market. Therefore, the university as an institution of higher learning is a pipeline of talent (Obermiller, Fleenor & Peter, 2005). It is implying that students are forms of natural resources to be channeled and refined as required. This is in line with the University of Mobile’s mission statement which advocates for renewing of minds through spiritual and intellectual development which is a process to achieve a refined product to fulfill a professional calling. The strategic goals of the University of Mobile also view students as products as it supports an all-around quality growth of personal, cultural, spiritual and intellectual knowledge in students. It refines students through scriptural development on what to do and what is prohibited.
In conclusion, university students should be viewed as products, because they are not like customers who are always right but to be guided on the right things to do. They are also products because educational success requires proper time allocation that is commensurate to the content delivery. It involves instructions to be followed to the latter. The University of Mobile’s mission statement and strategic goals align to guidelines for the development of all-round quality students to fulfill their professional needs. Therefore, students are viewed as products produced from a pool of pipeline of talents.
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