Deconstructing Social Unrest as a Response to Redefine Strained Relationships between Students and University Authorities

Dr Bunmi I Omodan


University system in Nigeria has been characterised by persistent social unrest majorly traceable to strained relationships between students and university authorities. Observations, experiences and literature confirmed that student unrest in the universities had become a compulsory devil affecting the speedy actualisation of university goals and objectives. The need to dismantle the social space for relative peace and tranquillity thereof become expedient. The study aims to redefine students-university authority relationships as a tool to deconstruct social unrest in Nigeria universities. Human Relations Theory of Management (HRTM) was used to theorise the study. Transformative paradigm as a stance to emancipate the existing unrest situation was used to lens the study. Participatory Action Research (PAR) was adopted as a research design for the study. The sample size for this study consists of 10 participants, namely, three students' leaders; one past student leaders, three university management members, two lecturers and two security personnel selected using expert sampling techniques. The Focused Group Discussion (FGD) was used to collect data from the participants, and the data collected were analysed using Socio-thematic Analysis. The study revealed that inadequate funding was a significant challenge resulting in student unrest. In contrast, the provision of Students' Personnel Services coupled with modern maintenance culture, transparency and accountability were found to be the dimension of peaceful university operation devoid of social unrest and therefore becomes a tool to deconstruct the strained relationship between students and university authorities.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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