Cultivating Peace as a Socialization Outcome in Universities: The Role of Institutional-based Religious Students’ Associations
The search for peace and harmony entails many life aspects across the globe and various institutions. While the common conflicts in Kenya are skewed on tribal, political, and family orientations, the effects spread into institutions of higher learning. It is on this background that the need for cultivating peace in universities through nurtured socialisation outcomes is attributed to students’ association. The article emanates from a study conducted in 2020-2021 with the purpose of examining the influence of students’ associations on educational socialisation outcomes among students in selected universities in Nairobi County, Kenya. Guided by Structural Functionalist Theory, the study used a mixed-methods design. The target population of students in ten chartered universities in Nairobi County. The researcher used a sample of 3 universities and achieved involved 167 students. Using stratified and simple random sampling techniques combined with purposive sampling, the study selected universities, deans of students, and individual association members. Data was gathered using an observation checklist, and questionnaire for students, and an interview schedule for deans of students. The researcher piloted the research instruments in one of the private universities that were not among the main study sites. The reliability and validity of the instruments were checked using the split-half technique and critically assessing the consistency of the responses on the pilot questionnaires. The data collected was then analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 24. The major finding was that participation in students’ religious association activities influenced educational socialisation outcomes. The outcomes can be harnessed into creating peaceful and harmonious co-existence in institutions of higher learning through which cultural, religious, and political diversities can be shared for the socio-wellbeing of the university community. The study recommends the embracing of students’ religious-based associations by university administrators to foster peace education.
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