This work examines the philosophy underpinning current higher education provision.
Contemporary culture seems to encourage consumers to purchase products where the product is shaped by the provider and the input of the consumer is very limited.
Research suggests that students, their perceptions shaped by the educational experience they have undergone, view education as a commodity and require that information be packaged for easy consumption.
The purpose of this study is to examine the current situation in education against the backdrop of an emerging trend that sees education as a product and students as consumers or customers.The literature provides a basis to argue that a qualification now is frequently a simulacrum while previously it represented knowledge and competency.
The study is an international one carried out through surveys and interviews with students and lecturers.
The findings, strengthened by reliability and significance tests, provide overwhelming support for the hypothesis that encapsulation is an emerging and worrying trend.