African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 388

Full Length Research Paper

Political education through the university: A survey of Nigerian university students

M.A. Adelabu1* and A.O. Akinsolu2
1Department of Educational Administration and Planning, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. 2National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, Ondo, Nigeria
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 06 January 2009
  •  Published: 28 February 2009


The higher institutions are known for where ideologies are formed. They also serve as instruments of motivating students. Tertiary education in particular is fundamental to the construction of knowledge and knowledge itself has become a vital factor for political education. Nigerian students are politically active and have in no small measure influenced policies within their universities and in the nation as a whole. Nigerian universities have produced a lot of activists that are presently influencing the Nigerian political landscape. These activists have been known to have developed their political ideologies and activism while in the university. The major objective of this study is to determine whether in reality universities play a role in political education of students. A number of factors, such as, curriculum, media, peer influence and lecturers’ influence are also used to determine the agents of political socialization of the students within the university. The study also highlighted which of the agents seem to have the greatest impact on the students’ political education within the university. The study design is survey research using a questionnaire tagged “Political Education of Students in the University” (PESUQ). The study population is Obafemi Awolowo University. The university is selected because it is deemed to be one of the most politically active among Nigerian universities. The study sample is 1,000 students. 536 new students and 464 old students were selected through a disproportionate stratified random sampling. The questionnaire is divided into two sections. The first section is the personal data of students while the second section addresses students’ agents of political education.The study was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics; such as mean, frequency, T-test and chi-square to test relationships, using the SPSS package. Findings revealed that the students are politically influenced in the university system. However, more old than new are influenced. In the same to the male students are more politically socialised than female. It was also found that the main agents of students’ political education are the curriculum, the students union and the lecturers.


Key words: Political education, political socialisation, ideologies, international politics, campaign for democracy, official curriculum, political agents.