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Title: University students’ representations of Europe and self-identification as Europeans: a synthesis of qualitative evidence for future policy formulation
Authors: Méndez García, María del Carmen
Cores-Bilbao, Esther
Fonseca-Mora, M. Carmen
Abstract: The current European context is characterised by the emergence of socio-political tensions that threaten to derail the cohesion objectives traditionally promoted by the authorities of the European Union. With EU citizenship in the shadow of Brexit, the fear of dismemberment of the current Europe of the 28 looms over a renewed debate on concepts like European identity, European citizenship or EU legitimacy and the involvement of its constituents in European affairs, as well as the role of education for promoting democratic awareness among young Europeans. This work aims to collect, appraise and synthesise qualitative evidence obtained in primary research exploring the perceptions of European university students about their civic and cultural identity. This systematic analysis sets out to identify predictors of positive self-identification with the EU and its institutions, focusing on the impact that different educational interventions have had on the attitudes and perceptions expressed by university students, and the importance of foreign language learning in the results obtained. The authors report their assessment of quality of the findings in a Cochrane-style qualitative evidence synthesis (QES), based on the GRADE-CERQual (Confidence in Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative research) method.
Keywords: European identity
Higher education students
Nested identities
Qualitative evidence synthesis (QES)
Confidence in Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative research (GRADE-CERQual)
Education policy formulation
Issue Date: 2020
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