Civic Purpose among Higher Education Students – A Study of Four Dutch and Finnish Institutions

Elina Kuusisto, Isolde de Groot, Ingrid Schutte, Inkeri Rissanen

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Given the increasing interest in academic citizenship in higher education, this study examines the civic purposes of higher education students in two European countries, namely the Netherlands and Finland, and relations between students’ worldviews and their civic purposes. The majority of students was categorized as so-called disengaged or dreamers, respectively either not civically interested or active or then visioning but not actualizing civic interests. Students with a purposeful profile referring to high civic interest, action, and identity, were most prevalent among Dutch students with a humanistic worldview and Finnish students reporting religions other than Christianity. Students from both countries not identifying with any organized worldviews were more likely to be allocated to the disengaged profile. Possible explanations for differences in student profiles are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Empirical Theology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Finland
  • civic purpose
  • higher education
  • the Netherlands
  • worldview

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