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Title: Young people's citizenship in higher education in the UK
Author: Yang, Jinyu
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2017
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Increasingly, higher education’s importance role in preparing students to be active citizens in civil society has been realised, yet there is limited understanding of the citizenship learning in higher education in the UK. Although there is a good deal of research about the political or civic engagement at universities in general, this study represents the first comprehensive exploration of the active citizenship learning in higher education in the UK. This thesis takes a three-paper format, accompanied with an introduction, literature review, contextual information on higher education system, methodology and conclusion chapters. The thesis focuses on understanding citizenship learning in higher education in the UK using the community of practice theory. It uses quantitative method. First, a descriptive analysis is carried out to understand young people’s civic behaviour and attitudes and a comparison is made between university students and their peers not attending universities. After that, in order to understand the relationship between HE and active citizenship, the thesis uses ordinal logistic regression on Citizenship Educational Longitudinal Study data to test if HE has an independent impact on active citizenship in the UK. Later, the thesis explores the citizenship learning at universities with community of practice theory. Then ordinal logistic regression is used on Citizenship in Transition dataset. The result shows that HE has an independent impact on voting and volunteering, but not protesting. The descriptive results indicate that young people at university follow a liberal model approach to Citizenship. These results provide evidences that HE is moving towards marketization, and students tend to care more about representation and rights than social justice. The results also support that community of practice theory can be applied in citizenship learning in HE. The thesis shows that belongingness is a very important part in learning citizenship at universities. The sense of belongingness can be formed in the learning process, and can facilitate learning. More importantly, it tends to promote future participation in society as it becomes an identity of active participants which is likely to appear in the similar contexts. Also, quantitative analyses show that university students can learn citizenship from their participation in activities and organizations on campus. The learning process takes place when students participate, share information and communicate. These findings support that it is imperative for HE to takes its social role to promote citizenship and democracy. The findings from the study indicate that citizenship learning in HE should be a priority in future research and policymaking.
Supervisor: Hoskins, Bryony ; Kinchin, Gary Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available