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Today the concept of consumerism appears to have strongly eroded the concept of Bildung. Instead of higher education institutes guiding students on their journey through a complex, uncertain post-modern society and prepare them as best they can for the requirements of society, students are more and more left on their own. The consumer culture of noninterference appears to have strongly influenced higher education institutes as they enable their students, as customers, to decide what education they want to take up, when and where they want it. This has resulted in what we characterize as the paradox of post-modern higher education: although postmodern society is seen as more fragmented, and pluralistic students are less guided by higher education institutes on how they can best achieve their Bildung. What is more, although society has become more uncertain and complex students are thought, just as regular customers, to make rational decisions about the education that best matches their individual needs as well as the requirements of society.

8. Conclusion: The Paradox of Post-modern Higher Education Although many authors disagree on the exact nature and character of postmodern society, nearly of all of them underline that society has become more complex, fragmented, flexible, pluralistic and/or uncertain whereas individuals have been more and more enabled to shape their own lives.

However, the nature of this freedom appears to be rather one-dimensional and specific. Individuals ability to write their own narrative appears to have been strongly influenced by the widespread adoption of neo-liberal ideology from the end of the 1980s. Fuelled by the historical events which took place at the end of the 1980s neo-liberal ideology has had a far-reaching influence on the (re)shaping welfare states and the rise of consumer culture.

Eventually, this resulted in what Benjamin Barber has named the era of hyperconsumerism. In this era both business and governmental organizations enable individuals to get what they want, where they want, and as much as they like. Today higher education institutes have incorporated Jeroen van Andel various elements of this consumption culture. Consequently they offer their students a wide array of different goods and allow and often even encourage them to shop around until they find what they like.

This has resulted in what we see as the paradox of post-modern higher education: although post-modern society has become more fragmented and complex students are less guided by higher education institutes on how they can best achieve their Bildung. Instead they are more and more regarded as rational customers who can decide for themselves what education they need and therefore how they can best achieve their Bildung.

9. Discussion In the foregoing we have pointed out the paradox of postmodern education. Although we have explained why this paradox has arisen, the question rises why higher education institutes choose not to resolve it. Why do higher education institutes do not guide their students in this complex era of post-modernity and decide for them what education will prepare them as best as possible for their future There can be found various arguments why it would be beneficial for students to exert influence on their education.33 Moreover, when choice is trivial or incidental, a variety of options is seen by most people as desirable.However, Iyengar and Lepper also found that when the amount of options rises and choosing becomes more important and personal, the process of choosing is seen as less desirable, difficult and sometimes even frustrating.

Therefore the question lingers to what extent the benefits of the consumerist approach to education outweigh downsides such as the preservation of a complex and dynamic institutional structure which enable students to choose from an abundance of different majors, minors and courses and straining choice processes.

Notes B Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, Harper Collins Publishers Inc., New York, 2004.

MC van der Wende, Hoger onderwijs globaliter: naar nieuwe kaders voor onderzoek en beleid, Universiteit Twente, Enschede, 2002; K Kumar, The Post-Modern Condition, in Education. Culture, Economy, Society, A. H.

Halsey, H. Lauder, P. Brown & A. Stuart Wells (eds), Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007.

A Giddens, Sociology, Cambridge, Polity Press, 1989; K Kumar, The PostModern Condition, in Education. Culture, Economy, Society, A H Halsey, H Lauder, P Brown & A St. Wells (eds), Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007.

104 From Academic to Customer ibid.

Giddens, op. cit.

G Ritzer, Postmodern Social Theory, Springer, New York, 1997.

M Castells, The Internet Galaxy. Reflections on the Internet, Business and Society, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000; S Sassen, The Global City:

New York, London, Tokyo, Princeton University, Princeton, 2001;

R Wuthnow, Loose Connections: Joining Together in America's Fragmented Communities, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1998; B Wellman, The Network Community: An Introduction, in B Wellman (ed), Networks in the Global Village. Life in Contemporary Communities, Westview Press, Boulder, 1999.

Castells, op. cit; Sassen, op. cit.

Castells, op. cit.

U Beck, A Giddens & A Lash, Reflexive Modernization: Politics, Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 1994; Giddens, op. cit; Beck, op. cit.

ibid.

Z Bauman, The Individualized Society, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2001, p.

20.

Z Bauman, Consuming Life, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2002.

ibid.

F Fukuyama, Het einde van de geschiedenis en de laatste mens, Olympus, Amsterdam, 2004.

ibid., p. 70.

Y Hartman, In Bed with the Enemy: Some Ideas on the Connections between Neoliberalism and the Welfare State. Current Sociology, vol. 53, pp. 57-73, 2005, pp. 58, 59.

ibid.

C Pollitt, Justification by Works or by Faith Evaluating the New Public Management, Evaluation, vol. 1, pp. 133-154, 1995.

ibid., p. 134.

M Hurenkamp & M Kremer, Vrijheid verplicht. Over tevredenheid en de grenzen van keuzevrijheid, Van Gennep, Amsterdam, 2005.

T Veblen, Conspicious Consumption, in The Consumer Society Reader, J. B. Schor & D. B. Holt (eds), The New Press, New York, 1999 [1899]; T W Adorno & M Horkheimer, The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception, in The Consumer Society Reader, J. B. Schor & D. B. Holt (eds), The New Press, New York, 1999 [1944].

C E Lindblom, The Market System: What it Is, How it Works, and What to Make of It, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2001, p. 14.

Jeroen van Andel JB Schor, Towards a New Politics of Consumption, in The Consumer Society Reader, J. B. Schor & D. B. Holt (eds), The New Press, New York, 1999, p. 452.

ibid.

B Barber, Consumed. Howe Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults and Swallow Citizens Whole, W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 2007, p. 117.

ibid.

B Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2004.

ibid. p. 14.

ibid.

CFG Lorenz, Van homo academicus tot homo economicus: over de functieverandering van de universiteit in de kenniseconomie, Boom, Amsterdam, 2006.

W Von Humboldt, Gesammelte Schriften, Hrsg. v. Albert Leitzmann, Siebenter Band, Behr, Berlin. Reprint: Walter de Gruyter & Co., Berlin, 1968.

B Van Hout-Wolters, R-J Simons & S Volet, Active Learning: SelfDirected Learning and Independent Work, in R-J Simons, J Van der Linden & T Duffy (eds), New Learning, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 2000; EL Deci & RM Ryan, The Support of Autonomy and the Control of Behavior, in Motivational Science. Social and Personality Perspectives, E T Higgins & A. W. Kruglanski (eds), Psychology Press, Philadelphia, PA, 2000, pp. 128-146; M Zuckerman, J Porac, D Lathin, & E L Deci, On the Importance of Self-Determination for Intrinsically-Motivated Behavior.

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 4, 1978, pp. 443-446.

S E Taylor, Positive Illusions: Creative Self-Deception and the Healthy Mind. Basic Books, New York, 2007; S S Iyengar & M R Lepper, When Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 79, 2000, pp. 995-1006.

Bibliography Adorno, T.W. & Horkheimer, M., The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception. The Consumer Society Reader. J.B. Schor & D.B. Holt (eds), The New Press, New York, 1999 [1944].

Barber, B.R., Consumed. How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults and Swallow Citizens Whole. W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 2007.

106 From Academic to Customer Bauman, Z., The Individualized Society. Polity Press, Cambridge, 2001.

Beck, U., The Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. Sage, London, 1992.

Beck, U., Giddens, A. & Lash, A., Reflexive Modernization: Politics, Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order. Stanford University Press, Stanford, 1994.

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Social and Personality Perspectives. Psychology Press, Philadelphia, 2000, pp. 128-146.

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Hopkins, D., Ainscow, M. & West, M., School Improvement in an Era of Change. Cassell, London, 1994.

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Schor, J.B., Towards a New Politics of Consumption. J.B. Schor & D.B. Holt (eds), The Consumer Society Reader. The New Press, New York, 1999, p. 452.

Schwartz, B., The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less. HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2004.

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Van der Wende, M. C., Hoger onderwijs globaliter: naar nieuwe kaders voor onderzoek en beleid. Universiteit Twente, Enschede, 2002.

Van Hout-Wolters, B., Simons, R.J. & Volet, S., Active Learning: SelfDirected Learning and Independent Work. New Learning, R.J. Simons, J Van der Linden & T. Duffy (eds), Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 2000.

Veblen, T., Conspicious Consumption. The Consumer Society Reader.

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Siebenter Band. Behr, Berlin. Reprint: Walter de Gruyter & Co, Berlin, 1968.

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The Role of Community Engagement in Higher Education:

Focus on the Discourse Relating to Knowledge Development Vhonani Netshandama and Sechaba Mahlomaholo Abstract This article seeks to discuss the discourse of community engagement in higher education with particular focus on the role of community engagement in the development of knowledge in a South African (SA) context of marginalisation, poverty and underdevelopment for most communities. The article acknowledges the role of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) in spearheading an ongoing conversation about community engagement in the higher education sector, namely what it is, what form it takes on, and how it is best undertaken. More and more, knowledge that does not contribute to meeting the basic development needs of the increasingly impoverished population groups is challenged in South Africa. We argue that community engagement in higher education should be viewed as a platform for interacting forms of knowledge. We see community engagement as a space for inclusive deliberations towards knowledge reconstruction and codification. Community engagement space should encourage faculties as reflexive practitioners to interface beyond traditional boundaries of round tables and other discussion forums.

Key Words: Community engagement, higher education, dialogue, knowledge, knowledge development.

***** 1. Introduction This article locates knowledge development process at the crossroads of the divide between higher education and society with particular reference to South Africa. The article further provides arguments that community engagement (CE) in the South African higher education context may not be simplified to mean community service, outreach and extension because its role is much more complex to fit in any one template.

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