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Learning together, living apart: the experiences of university students in Northern Ireland

Nelson, Seanenne, Dickson, David and Hargie, Owen (2003) Learning together, living apart: the experiences of university students in Northern Ireland. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 16 (6). pp. 777-795. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1080/09518390310001632144


Elementary (primary) and high (secondary) school education in Northern Ireland (NI) is essentially segregated along religious lines. The vast majority of young people from the Protestant/Unionist/British community attend state “Controlled” schools while Catholics/ Nationalists/Irish attend schools in the Catholic Church-based “Maintained” sector. Going to university represents for many the first opportunity to share a significant educational experience with someone from a different politico-religious group and cultural background. This paper presents the results of a focus-group based study designed to illuminate students' experiences of intergroup relations at a NI university. Through focus-group discussions information was generated on cross-community contact, the influence of group difference, prevalence, and identity, on attitudes and intergroup communication. The university environment as a factor in potential relational development, the role which student bodies and academic staff may play, and policies and practices on accepting diversity are discussed. Recommendations and considerations are highlighted for other pedagogical institutes where complex and difficult intergroup dynamics exist.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Communication
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute for Research in Social Sciences > Communication
Psychology Research Institute > Peace, Conflict and Equality
Institute for Research in Social Sciences
ID Code:6924
Deposited By: Professor Owen Hargie
Deposited On:19 Jan 2010 10:04
Last Modified:15 Jun 2011 09:56

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