Happiness in higher education


Elwick, A. and Cannizzaro, S. 2017. Happiness in higher education. Higher Education Quarterly. 71 (2), pp. 204-219. https://doi.org/10.1111/hequ.12121
TitleHappiness in higher education
AuthorsElwick, A. and Cannizzaro, S.

This article reviews the higher education literature surrounding happiness and related notions: satisfaction, despair, flourishing and well-being. It finds that there is a real dearth of literature relating to profound happiness in higher education: much of the literature using the terms ‘happiness’ and ‘satisfaction’ interchangeably as if one were tantamount to the other, such conflation being due to the move towards consumerism within higher education and the marketization of the sector. What literature there exists that actually deals with the profound happiness of students in higher education generally argues that in the UK institutions do not currently do enough to promote happiness in higher education. The findings of this review imply that flourishing, contentment and well-being should be regarded as legitimate goals of higher education, alongside satisfaction and related economic outcomes that are currently promoted across academic and policy literature, university rankings, and the National Student Survey.

JournalHigher Education Quarterly
Publication dates
Online19 Mar 2017
Print01 Apr 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Feb 2017
Accepted13 Feb 2017
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Elwick, A. and Cannizzaro, S. (2017), Happiness in Higher Education. Higher Education Quarterly, 71: 204–219. doi:10.1111/hequ.12121, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/hequ.12121. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/hequ.12121
Permalink -


Download files

Accepted author manuscript
  • 20
    total views
  • 20
    total downloads
  • 6
    views this month
  • 12
    downloads this month

Export as