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Student Attitudes and Knowledge on Asylum Issues in Ireland: a survey of University College Cork students

Lilian O’Sullivan1, Ellen Kinzer1, Stephanie Cadogan1, Eoghan McMahon2, Sinead Mowlds1, Helena Guiney3, and Michael Cronin3

  1. International Development and Food Policy student, University College Cork, Ireland
  2. Bachelor of Social Science, 2011, University College Cork, Ireland
  3. Statistics Department, University College Cork, Ireland

Abstract

This article is based on a survey undertaken in January 2011 by undergraduate students at University College Cork, Ireland. The survey assessed University College Cork students’ attitudes towards and knowledge on asylum seekers and the policy of direct provision. The survey sample comprised of 606 students. The study found that there is an overall lack of knowledge amongst students on asylum seeking issues. No relationship could be established between students’ perceived level of knowledge and actual knowledge on the topic. While a minority of respondents harboured very negative views, overall, attitudes were more positive. There is ignorance about government policy on the topic. Students who know an asylum seeker appeared to have more positive attitudes and somewhat better knowledge on asylum issues. Full Opinion piece pending final approval