Iryna Sieriakova, Ganna Kokoza


The formation of informed, socially responsible professionals and citizens is the prime goal of education in Ukraine. To that end, the Law on Education of Ukraine obliges the state to create conditions for civic engagement of students. While quantitative studies on the subject put a compelling argument about the benefits of civic engagement for promoting participatory democracy and enhancing students’ analytical and communication skills, there is scant knowledge of how students actually understand and experience it. The article makes an attempt to address this issue. Drawing on the qualitative methodology and a development triad motivation-activity-outcome, it studies civic engagement experiences of students of Kyiv National Linguistic University. The majority of respondents associate civic engagement with volunteering, political activity and the notion of active citizenship. Students who participated in civic-related activities in the hope of a better grade (extrinsic motivation) reported learning next to nothing from their participation. Conversely, students who took part in such activities for personal reasons (intrinsic motivation) reported improvement of their communication and teamwork skills. Participants struggled to describe the wider impact of their civic engagement due to the lack of reflection. Based on the results of the study, we propose a tertiary model for structuring civic engagement opportunities in a university setting to enhance students’ experience.


civic education; civic engagement; extrinsic and intrinsic motivation; structured reflection; learning outcomes

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ISSN 2410-8286 (Online), ISSN 2409-3351 (Print)