UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA UNDERGRADUATES’ KNOWLEDGE OF AND ATTITUDE TO CLIMATE CHANGE

UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA UNDERGRADUATES’ KNOWLEDGE OF AND ATTITUDE TO CLIMATE CHANGE

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to find out the University of Nigeria undergraduates’ level of knowledge of and attitude to climate change. Thirteen specific objectives with their corresponding research questions and three null hypotheses guided the study. Cross-sectional survey research design was employed for the study. The population for the study consisted of 21907 regular undergraduates during the 2010/2011 academic session. Multi-stage sampling procedure was used to draw a sample of 960 undergraduates (582 males and 378 females). A 21-item questionnaire (UKAC) designed by the researcher was the instrument used for data collection. The research questions were answered using percentages and mean.  The null hypotheses were tested using ANOVA and t-test statistics. The major findings were: the undergraduates had high level of knowledge of meaning (64.55%); causes (63.46%) and prevention (62.43%) of climate change. They had moderate level of knowledge of the effects of climate change (57.50%). Gender did not influence the undergraduates’ level of knowledge of climate change as both male and female undergraduates have high level of knowledge of climate change. Year of study influenced the level of knowledge of climate change. The knowledge increased as the undergraduates progressed from first year to final year. The knowledge of climate change among the undergraduates varied from department to department with the departments under faculties of Agriculture and Engineering rating the highest. The undergraduates showed positive attitude to the causes, effects, and prevention of climate change (   > 2.5) irrespective of their gender, year of study and course of study. There was statistically significant difference in the level of knowledge of climate change based on year of study. The hypothesis of no statistically significant difference in the undergraduates’ attitude to climate change based on gender was accepted. There was a significant difference in the level of knowledge of climate change among the undergraduates in relation to their course of study. From the findings, it was concluded that the undergraduates had high level of knowledge of climate change and it was recommended that the university should intensify efforts in making climate change a cross-disciplinary programme..