London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

An international academic discussion platform as a means of identity building for university; students' opinions about the advantages and disadvantages of EU membership

Author(s) Kovalcikova, I. & Petrucijova, J.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2013  
Editor P. Cunningham (ed.) Identities and Citizenship Education: Controversy, crisis and challenges  
Age group -  
as a process of diminishing civic interest. Studies show that inhabitants of post-Communist countries differ from inhabitants of more traditionally democratic countries in being less involved in public affairs. Some authors describe this as a ‘participational deficit’. In 2010, 12 European universities created a consortium for the EU MyUniversity pilot project: Decision making for a united higher education (EU CIP ICT PSP 2009 3bis, ref.numb. 256216). The project developed a platform for open discussion about processes of changes in various areas of academic life, increasing civic/academic involvement in decision making processes. This paper discusses the implementation of the project at European universities: 1. the forms of discussion, 2. the consequences of the participational deficit at universities. At the end of the contribution the results of an international survey, carried out using the European electronic discussion platform developed as part of the MyUniversity project, are presented. The survey focussed on differences in student opinions about the advantages and disadvantages of EU membership at both the micro and macro level (the advantages of membership for university students, citizens, advantages and disadvantages for the state which is an EU member). Student opinions formed a dependent variable within the survey, an independent variable being their country's level of involvement in EU structures: 1. Slovak Republic as a member of both the EU and the Eurozone; Czech Republic as a member of the EU but not the Eurozone; Turkey and the Ukraine as states which are not EU members. Keywords: academic discussion platform, participational deficit, EU membership, decision making.

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