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Attitude Of Undergraduates Towards Campus Politics In the University Of Nigeria

Abstract

This study was on Attitude of undergraduates towards campus politics in d university of Nigeria.  The total population for the study is 200 students of University of Nsukka, Enugu state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up final year students, year 4 students, year 3 students and year 2 students were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies

Chapter one

Introduction

1.1Background of the study

Political involvement as a part of the college education experience is not something new. Educating citizens for participation in the democracy was a founding principle in the development of universities in the Nigeria. Political involvement, in the form of student activism, has been a part of the history of Nigeria universities since. Nigeria, activism peaked in the 1960s with significant challenges to university governance and involvement in nationwide organizing around political issues. Forms of political activism have also changed. Instead of marching protests in the street and non-violent “sit in’s,” many students volunteer their time in endeavors that can be construed as political activities. Positive outcomes in other areas of civic engagement, such as community service and service learning, have increased and have been demonstrated to impact young peoples’ understanding of both why and how they can make a difference in their communities (Lipka, 2007). However, these initiatives have not consistently demonstrated promotion of young peoples’ direct involvement in politics (Jones, 2002).

Cross-sectional analyses of the population showing that those who attended university tend to be more liberal in their political and social attitudes do not necessarily indicate that a university education has a socializing effect on students. University students are more likely to come from higher social class backgrounds and university graduates tend have higher income and higher occupational and social status than their age cohorts who did not attend university. As well, universities tend to attract persons with a different outlook than the population as a whole (Jennings & Niemi, 1981). Not only may a university education be more attractive to the more intellectual and to those with greater cognitive abilities, but also there may be a greater interest in university education among those with a high level of concern about the world’s problems. Universities may also disproportionately attract the ambitious who see a university education as the best route to individual success. Studies examining the changes in the attitudes of students while attending university have generally found that there are substantial changes towards more liberal positions (Dressel & Lehmann, 1965; Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991). A few studies have provided evidence that these attitudinal changes are long-lasting (Newcomb, Koenig, Flacks & Warwick, 1967; Weiner & Eckland, 1979).

Student politics often occupies a center stage in the political life of the third world countries. These are essentially political activities undertaken by students of undergraduate and postgraduate levels at institutes of higher education, mostly public universities and colleges, and can range from minor disruptions to major upheavals in the political history of nations. With time, however, the nature of student politics has changed, and especially after attainment of independence in many of the earlier colonies, student politics has tended to become more and more involved with local issues. Moreover student wings of national political parties have become especially active and involved in campus affairs. Unfortunately however, political competition in campuses has spawned conflict in campuses, sometimes violent enough to raise alarms and cause consternation among policy makers and civic society in general.

Students in higher education is a group of elite and educated youth. In addition to studying various disciplines, they are also active in campus political activities. Their political behavior patterns could threaten the campus and national politics. Their political participation will influence the campus and national political scenario when involving community issues, policy and leadership. University is one of important social institution and looked up to by society because this institution produces a large portion of elite group or educated person. Student political activism remains a key issue in the Third World despite its decline in industrialized nation. Students those in the social sciences, are fairly easy to mobilize and they often have a basic interest in political and social issues (Altbach, 1984). It is argued that student movements emerge from their social and political environment and it is not surprising that activism continues as a powerful for in the Third World

Statement of the problem

Evidence of students’ political education which was influenced by the university environment is the persistent increase in Nigeria Students’ activism. Students’ activism persists because students feel that majority of the citizens or their own parents are being oppressed perhaps because of poverty or lack of access to governance and in most cases those parents who speak out are not heard. Moreover, since the universities are dependent on government for funding and for policy directions, the political class over the years has also seen itself as all powerful and has continued to increase its control on the university system. The response to this automatically rested mainly on Nigerian students who saw this as a form of slavery and erosion of autonomy. The students therefore see themselves as saviours and reformers. The public in turn regards students as leaders of tomorrow and conscience of the nation. Based on this the researcher wants to investigate the attitude of undergraduates towards campus politics in d university of Nigeria

Objective of the study

The objectives of the study are;

  1. To investigate the role of universities in the political education of students
  2. To find out the attitude of student towards campus politic in university
  3. To ascertain whether political activity in University affect academic performance of student

Research hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0: there is no attitude of student towards campus politic in university.

H1: there is attitude of student towards campus politic in university

H02: political activity in University affect do not academic performance of student

H2: political activity in University affect academic performance of student

Significance of the study

The study will be very significant to students and the political world. The study will give insight on the attitude of undergraduates towards campus politics in d university of Nigeria. The study will focus whether political activity of student affect academic performance of student. The study will also serve as a reference to other researchers that will embark on the related topic

Scope and limitation of the study

The scope of the study covers attitude of undergraduates towards campus politics in d university of Nigeria. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

  1. a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient,

thereby limiting the study

  1. b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

 

1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Attitude: a settled way of thinking or feeling about something

Campus politics: Student activism or campus activism is work by students to cause political, environmental, economic, or social change.  Some student protests focus on the internal affairs of a specific institution; others focus on broader issues such as a war or dictatorship

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