To page body
university of tampere: faculty of management: research: research programmes: consortium of trust research – pathways to political trust (contre):
Faculty of ManagementUniversity of TampereFaculty of Management
Consortium of Trust Research – Pathways to Political Trust (CONTRE)


Student Research Project POLKU

POLKU is a research project consisting of nine students of political science and four members of CONTRE at University of Tampere. 

In the spring 2016, POLKU conducted a study which explored the political trust of students at secondary education level. In particular, the project sought to find out whether there are differences in the level of political trust among the upper secondary and vocational school students and what are the most significant factors that may have influence on it.

The project collected a survey data consisting of 929 students of upper secondary and vocational school in Tampere region in April 2016. 68 percent of the respondents were studying in upper secondary school, 27 percent in vocational school and 5 percent were completing a secondary level dual qualification. Besides questions of trust, the survey covered questions on political knowledge, attitudes and values, interest in politics and political participation.


  • The students of upper secondary school have significantly higher political and social trust than students of vocational schools. Furthermore, the satisfaction with economy and government as well as the parents’ income level explains the political trust of the youngsters.

  • The chosen educational path is also connected to other indicators of political engagement, which are important for future political participation of the young, showed in previous studies.

  • The students of vocational schools discuss political issues less frequently with their families than students of upper secondary school. Politics is also less visible in school environment.

  • Somewhat surprisingly, those students who actively discuss politics do not automatically have higher level of political trust. In fact, the case is exactly opposite among students of vocational schools: 60 percent of those who discuss daily or often about politics have low political trust.

  • Both upper secondary and vocational school students find that they have weak understanding of politics. Roughly a half of the former are interested in politics and approximately a third of the latter. The weak internal efficacy is, however, low also in the Finnish adult population, in fact among the lowest in the European comparison (Kestilä-Kekkonen, 2016).

Project members


Back row from left: Lotta Hakanpää, Vera Järvenreuna, Sakari Ilkka, Henri Ala-lahti, Petra Kantola, Josefina Sipinen and Laura Tiihonen.
Front row from left: Sanni Lehtinen, Anna-Riikka Aarnio, Eeva-Kaisa Elonen, Maria Bäck, Sylvi the Official Research Dog, Elina Kestilä-Kekkonen and Aino Tiihonen. Photo: Jonne Renvall/University of Tampere

POLKU Seminar

28.9.2016, University of Tampere

The results of the study were introduced in POLKU seminar in the end of September 2016. In addition, the programme included two lectures on youth political participation and political trust, held by Adjunct Professor Sami Borg and Professor Elina Kestilä-Kekkonen. There was also a panel discussion on political interest and political participation of the Finnish youth. Panelists represented both vocational and upper secondary school students and teachers.


Sakari Ilkka hosting a panel discussion on political interest and political participation of the Finnish youth. Photo: Jonne Renvall/University of Tampere.
School of Management
Tel. +358 3 355 111 (switchboard)
Maintained by:
Last update: 27.10.2016 16.19 Muokkaa

University of Tampere
+358 3 355 111

FINEEC Audited HR Excellence in Research

Cooperation and Services
About Us

Research & Study

Career Services
Finnish Social Science Data Archive
Centre for International Education
IT services
Language Centre
Language Services
Registrar's Office
Sports Activities
» more

Teaching schedules
Curricula guides
Student's Desktop

Andor search
Renew your loans
UTA intranet
Office 365 webmail
Uta webmail
Electronic exam service
Examination results