YSTT recently completed research into UK students’ attitudes towards the upcoming EU Referendum on Thursday. Formations of political opinions were explored to find out how students from all over the United Kingdom are thinking about voting.
Attached are the results of the research carried out; detailing and breaking down the opinions of those surveyed. Whether or not you use the results to sway your own decision, or try and compare your opinion to those of others, we hope the report is useful to you.
- Executive Summary:
- Of 122 students, the majority (68.9%) are for remaining in the European Union (EU).
- A significant proportion of students (5.7%) are still unsure as to how they will vote.
- With regards to the policy area most important in influencing student stances, interest was widely spread, with ‘Borders and Immigration’ taking the greatest proportion of responses (23.0%).
- Most respondents said that they felt that the UK Parliament is best capable of dealing with most policy areas, with some respondents indicating that they would like to see further devolution of power, most notably with the Arts and Culture policy area.
- Welfare proved to be a wedge issue, with 51.1% of respondents claiming that they were for EU migrants receiving the same welfare benefits as British citizens.
- Students felt well-informed about the debate surrounding the EU referendum, with an average mark of 8.05 out of 10, with 0 representing total unawareness and 10 representing a respondent feeling ‘Very Aware’.
- While the majority of students (70%) believe that a referendum is an appropriate method of deciding whether or not the UK should remain in the European Union, a significant proportion of students (30%) believe that it is an inappropriate method.
- Online media sources represent the main source of news for students with 48.9% identifying it as their most informative source of information.
- The majority of students (60.99%) believe that leaving the EU will have an adverse impact on the United Kingdom’s trade position.
- We’re regular students- not experts. You don’t have to know anything about the subject before you show up to an event. There is no expectation on you to be an expert in a topic, feel free to turn up, listen to some great presentations, a few stimulating discussions and when you’re ready, join the discussion.
2. Our events, research and consultations are driven by our members. Last year we had students present on whistleblowing, the situation in Egypt, the Hong Kong protests and ethical medical procurement in the NHS. In addition, if there is something that you want to research, then just tell us! We can provide teams, assistance and other resources to help you research your topic.
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Following the Scottish referendum, we wondered what students at the University of York thought about Devolution and what might the links be between Devolution, Identity and political engagement.
We surveyed 255 UK Home students aged between 18 and 25 years old at the University of York.
- There is broad support for giving regions more power (64% of respondents thought regions should have more power)
- 34% of respondents thought regions should be given more powers with directly elected assemblies
- 61.2% of respondents expected more devolution over the next 5 years
- Respondents believed cities should have power over policy areas such as Transport (42.4%), while in most other areas respondents supported Central Government.
- Respondents identified as having a strong link to national identities (47.1%)
- Respondents from the Yorkshire and Humber favoured national identities (61.7%), while respondents from the South East favoured Regional (44%) and city based identities (42%)
- Of the elections polled, respondents were more likely to vote in the general elections; with 93% stating that they would be either likely or very likely to vote in the general elections.
- Local elections see the least amount of participation with only 71.8% of respondents stating that they would either be likely or very likely to participate in these elections.
- Within questions regarding participation, intention to vote in elections remains high at 70% or above across all governmental bodies.
- In response to general feelings of political engagement most respondents said that they felt politically engaged, with ‘Very Strongly’ (16.08%) and ‘Strongly’ (49.41%) as the top responses.
- 51.37% of individuals polled did not believe, or were unsure that their vote mattered.
Project Lead: Richard Crawshaw
Researchers: Kyle Knights, Hayley Ramshay