The current paper tried to explore the lived experience of Iranian students at universities in recent years after commercialization and commodification of higher education followed by limitations on the public and governmental resources of the universities. Thus, a university student is reduced to a customer position. The aim of this research is to study the lived experience of students in an old comprehensive university in the capital of Iran. Since the goal of the researchers was to go near the students themselves to reveal the lived and perceived experiences of them with the interpretive paradigm as a methodology. The hermeneutic phenomenological research method was chosen with deep exploratory interviews as a data gathering tool. Deep exploratory interviews were fulfilled with a purposive sample of 25 university students on the data saturation basis. 250 main propositions were found from these interviews. The most important propositions extracted with the thematic analysis method showed that just 30 percent of experiences were positive but 70 percent of them were negative.


Lived Experience, Students’ Perception, Phenomenology, Meaning of University

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Maghsoud Farasatkhah (born 1956) is an Iranian sociologist who was born in Tabriz. He is a faculty member (associate professor) at Institute for Research and Planning in Higher Education. His university education was in Philosophy, Theology and Higher Education Planning. Farasatkhah (also known Ferasatkhah) teaches at Allameh Tabatabae’i, Tehran, Shahid Beheshti and Islamic Azad Universities. He received the 18th award of popularization of sciences which was held on World Science Day. UNESCO has put the name of the day Science for Peace and Sustainable Development. The jury Committee awarded Dr. Maghsoud Farasatkhah the prize for endless, responsible, purposeful, comprehensive, humanitarian, and ethical activities and efforts in academic and public areas for popularizing sociology knowledge and also his commitment to the continuity of cultural, promotional and scientific work. His publication can be seen on ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7535-6074. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: m_farasatkhah@yahoo.com.

Dr. Nasrin Asgharzadeh's publication can be seen on ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5298-000X. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: N_Asgharzadeh@sbu.ac.ir.

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