International Education Journal

Articles from the Educational Research Conference 2001


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Some aspects of moral values among university students in three societies: Poland, Australia and the Philippines

 J.J. Smolicz
D.M. Hudson and
M.J. Secombe

Graduate School of Education, Adelaide University





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The paper reports the findings from a comparative study of moral values undertaken among university students from five universities in the Philippines, Poland and Australia. The aim of the study was to compare the way students brought up in different cultural traditions, but subjected to the homogenizing trends of globalization, evaluated what they deemed as the most appropriate solutions to some of the basic life dilemmas facing individuals today. The respondents were senior undergraduate and postgraduate students drawn from education and social science faculties in two independent Catholic and three secular state universities.

A total of 448 students participated in the study, with 80 to 100 students originating from each university. This paper presents a detailed analysis of one example from each of three categories of moral dilemmas, in which students were asked to state their position in relation to twelve issues including abortion, extra-marital affairs and stealing. In addition to providing concrete data on themselves, students indicated whether they believed the actions listed were wrong, acceptable or dependent on circumstances.

The students' responses to the issues showed a generally consistent position for each university along a value orientation continuum ranging from Traditional Christian to 'Post-modern Individualist'. The degree of support for Traditional Christian values varied, however, from issue to issue according to the university and country under investigation.

moral values; abortion; infidelity; stealing; tertiary students; international.


Smolicz, J.J., Hudson, D.M. and Secombe, M.J. (2001) Some aspects of moral values among university students in three societies: Poland, Australia and the Philippines. International Education Journal, 2 (4), 203-208.

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