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Language learning and forced migration: An ethnographic approach [Språklæring og tvungen migrasjon: en etnografisk tilnærming]
Most of those who learn Norwegian in the Introduction Programme for recent arrivals are forced migrants. These are people who have fled their homes due to war, persecution or other factors that make escape seem the only means of survival. Through ethnographic research among 14 resettlement refugees from The Democratic Republic of the Congo in Norway, we have become aware…
Young, unaccompanied refugees’ expectations of social workers and social worker roles
Background: Young people who have travelled to another country, unaccompanied and with refugee status, are a both resilient and vulnerable group with specific needs. Supporting them is often challenging for social workers, and providing this support is mediated by the expectations that these young people have of social workers and social worker roles. Aim: In this study, we explore how…
The migratory experience: Challenging inclusionary measures
This chapter explores how refugees wishing to attend tertiary education experience a language learning initiative in Norway. It shows how this ostensibly inclusionary measure, instead of supporting the refugees' ambitions, hampers their efforts and works to exclude. Through a collaboration involving five prior participants enrolled in language learning, all with refugee status, and three researchers positioned differently towards the topic,…
‘Not integrated at all. Whatsoever’: teachers’ narratives on the integration of newly arrived refugee students in Norway
This study investigates how teachers working with newly arrived adolescent refugee students reflect on these students, their situation within the educational system and in Norwegian society. We research the ways in which these reflections engage with the various understandings of the ubiquitous and 'fuzzy' notion of immigrant integration, a concept which we approach critically. The empirical data consists of interviews…
Changes in life satisfaction among unaccompanied asylum-seeking and refugee minors who participated in teaching recovery techniques (TRT)
BackgroundUnaccompanied asylum-seeking and refugee minors report low life satisfaction and high levels of mental health problems, nevertheless they often do not seek or receive help for their problems. Teaching Recovery Techniques (TRT) is a low-threshold, five sessions intervention developed to reduce distressing war- and disaster-related trauma reactions among children and youth. In this study, we investigate if TRT can contribute…
Language learning and forced migration
This study of language issues in the context of migration provides interdisciplinary insights into language as learned, used and lived by refugees in Norway. It offers an innovative contribution to the field of SLA by bringing together structural, cognitive, social and critical approaches to data collected among the same individuals.
Experiencing and resisting interwoven social boundaries: the case of highly educated recent refugees in Norway
This article explores forced migrants’ experiences with mainstream social boundaries and investigates how classed resources are used to resist and renegotiate such boundaries. The case of forced migrants from Syria who came to Norway during the ‘refugee crisis’ is demarcated by ‘bright’ boundaries vis-à-vis mainstream society. Moreover, arriving with middle-class resources like higher education may represent bargaining power in boundary…
Does Higher Education Have Liberalizing or Inoculating Effects? A Panel Study of Anti-Immigrant Sentiment before, during, and after the European Migration Crisis
Previous research has consistently shown a negative correlation between education and anti-immigrant sentiment. This association is most pronounced when distinguishing between adults with higher education and those without a tertiary degree. Yet it remains unclear whether educational attainment actually matters for attitudes, mainly due to a lack of longitudinal studies. This article investigates the so-called liberalizing effect of education on…
“Coming to Norway as a refugee can be misinterpreted as a bad thing” Exploring the Individual Educational Experiences of African Youth in Norway
There is a lot of research written about unaccompanied minors in Norway, but this thesis is concerned with the individual education experiences of African unaccompanied minors. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the experiences of African unaccompanied minors regarding access to education opportunities in Norway. Based on a review of literature on unaccompanied minors, by using four theories:…
A help or hindrance? Highly educated refugees’ perceptions of the role of civic integration programmes in accessing the labour market in Oslo, Malmö and Munich
Research often focuses on individual-level factors shaping refugee labour market participation. Less research has been conducted on the implications of the roles of employers, integration programmes, migrant support organisations and similar. This article contributes to the literature by seeking to understand highly educated refugees’ perceptions of how civic integration programmes shape opportunity structures for their labour market participation. It is…
Effect of a self-help group intervention using Teaching Recovery Techniques to improve mental health among Syrian refugees in Norway: a randomized controlled trial
Background: Mental health symptoms among refugees are common, often related to chronic pain disorders, and their management is usually challenging. Studies evaluating the effect of group therapies among adult refugees to improve mental health symptoms are scarce. Aims: To assess the effect of Teaching Recovery Techniques (TRT) on mental health and to reduce pain disorder among adult Syrian refugees. Method:…
Protocol: Feasibility study and pilot randomised trial of a multilingual support intervention to improve Norwegian language skills for adult refugees
This protocol is for a feasibility study and pilot trial of a multilingual support intervention. The intervention's aim is to improve language training for refugees in Norway by introducing multilingual support assistants using the refugees’ primary languages. The research question for this pilot study is whether a full-scale randomised controlled trial of Multilingual Support is feasible, and if so, in…
The politics of emotion in a parenting support programme for refugees in Norway
Enhancing social skills among citizens who are considered at risk is one of the ways in which a welfare state handles marginalised groups (Prieur et al, 2020). Universalised programmes represent a common way of strengthening the social capabilities of groups deemed in need of such skills (for example, Pettersvold and Østrem, 2019). In this article, we show that emotions perform…
Education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries: Risk and resilience factors
Record numbers of unaccompanied refugee minors continue to arrive in high-income countries seeking asylum and protection. Despite receiving educational support, unaccompanied refugee minors continue to be vulnerable to negative educational experiences and outcomes. The review investigates what resilience factors enable unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries to have positive educational experiences and outcomes. It aims to inform the literature on…
Refugees and the educational attainment of natives: Evidence from Norway
Increases in immigration raise a range of challenges for schools. Existing research primarily investigates the impact of immigrants on native test scores and demonstrates mixed results. Using Norwegian register data and narrow within-school, within-family comparisons, we demonstrate negative effects of refugees on native math performance, and no effect on English or Norwegian performance. These effects are concentrated amongst groups of…
SIRIUS Watch 2021: Towards inclusive digital education for migrant children
SIRIUS Watch 2021 presents trends and developments on the effects of digitalisation in education on migrant children both pre- COVID-19 and during COVID-19. It will build on national and EU-level research, as well as the results of the SIRIUS Online Digital Workshop. The results include a clear framework of challenges and recommendations to support the development of an inclusive digital…
Barriers to inclusion of minority language minors in Norwegian and Dutch education: A comparative analyses of various reported voices connected to education
With the increase of immigrants in Norway and the Netherlands, it is increasingly important to have an inclusive education system that sets every minor up to succeed. This comparative research considers the barriers of inclusion to quality education for minority language minors in Norway and the Netherlands. Using UNESCO’s (2008b) inclusion framework, the content of 70 media sources were analysed…
Learning Norwegian in Norwegian to become Norwegian? A study on the monolingual strategy for refugees learning Norwegian at Voksenopplæringen and how it affects their prospects for integration into society
Refugees in Norway are the group that experiences discrimination and social exclusion the most. The main reason of discrimination and unsuccessful integration is insufficient language skills. Even though, that they are provided with up to 3000 hours of language learning within an Introduction program that is specially designed for them to help them to reconstruct their lives in Norway, there…
Visiting the forced visitors-critical and decentered approach to global citizenship education as an inclusive educational response to forced youth migration
-Migrant and refugee youth face complex challenges pertaining to educational and social inclusion in Europe and international contexts.-Global Citizenship Education (GCE) has gained increased prevalence as an educational response to globalizing processes such as forced migration and resulting cultural diversity.-It is argued that a critical and decentered model of GCE can be applied as an inclusive educational response to refugee…
Educational and Career Opportunities for Refugee-Background Adults in Norway: A DLC Perspective
Similar to other European countries, Norway has opened its borders to large numbers of refugees in the recent years. Norwegian language training is seen as serving an important role in the process of resettlement and integration into the Norwegian society and constitutes a central component of the obligatory, two-year Introduction Program for adult refugees. On the other hand, English, Norway’s…
The Peripherality of Social Inclusion of Refugees into Higher Education: Insights from Practices of Different Institutions in Norway
Refugees must deal with various institutions in host countries for a variety of purposes. These institutions’ policies and practices may facilitate or impede social inclusion of refugees into higher education. This article explores the practices of different public institutions in Norway to understand their roles in social inclusion of refugees into higher education. A theoretical framework constructed from two elements—social…
Social inclusion of refugees into higher education: policies and practices of universities in Norway
Pursuing higher education is one of the top priorities of many refugees after settlement in host countries. However, refugees’ participation in the labour market is the prime focus of integration policies and practices in various host nations, including Norway. This coupled with some complex challenges embedded in institutional policies and practices impede social inclusion of refugees into higher education in…
Not All Syrian Doctors Become Taxi Drivers: Stagnation and Continuity Among Highly Educated Syrians in Norway
Many studies of forced migration have documented processes of deskilling and falls in status resulting from an inability to convert capital from one context to another. This article relies on qualitative interviews with highly educated individuals who arrived in Norway in the wake of the Syrian crisis. In the material, narratives of stagnation, loss and struggle against bureaucracy are highly…
Between being and longing: Young former refugees’ experiences of place attachment and multiple belongings
This thesis focuses on young former refugees’ lived experiences of and reflections on processes of place attachment and negotiation of belonging in Norway. The analysis draws on a postcolonial understanding of migration and belonging, and is inspired by post-structuralism and critical phenomenology. The thesis analyses belonging from two perspectives: as a personal relationship to people and places, and as relationally…
An overview of refugee education in Europe
The overview of refugee children education in Europe we provide in this book is part of the Erasmus + project “ITIRE: Improving teaching to improve refugee children education”. Following the unprecedented flow of forced migrants to Europe in 2015, several countries have adopted measures to facilitate the enrolment of refugee children in the educational system. These actions have produced a…
Young refugees’ pathways in(to) education. Teacher and student voices: Challenges, opportunities and dilemmas
This report addresses the findings of the qualitative research project Educational and psychosocial transitions encountered by young refugees upon resettlement in Norway (TURIN). The TURIN project is a substudy (3a) of the Nordic research project ‘Coming of Age in Exile’ (CAGE) (2015–2020) and has been conducted by researchers from the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (NKVTS) and…
Challenges of authenticating migrants’ academic credentials as part of integrating in Norway: A case study of Eritreans in Agder
Due to the complex interplay among various push/pull factors that impact livelihoods and comfort zones in the Global South, an unprecedented number of persons are following unfamiliar emigration routes, heading from South to North. Political unrest, war situations, economic crisis, environmental degradations, high unemployment rates and grinding poverty, human rights violation, and the like are amongst the major factors that…
Social inclusion of refugees into higher education in Norway: A critical analysis of Norwegian higher education and integration policies
In numerous countries, the widening participation of underrepresented groups in higher education has become an official part of education policies. However, inequalities continue in some areas, including refugees’ participation. Norway hosts many refugees, but little is known about the social inclusion of refugees into higher education in the country. In this paper, three documents representing Norwegian higher education and integration…
Health, Education and Employment Outcomes in Young Refugees in the Nordic Countries: A Systematic Review
Objectives: Since 2000, approximately 500,000 refugees have settled in the Nordic countries, about a third of them being children and young people. To identify general trends, and to detect gaps in the existing knowledge about the socioeconomic and health status of these young refugees, this review discusses the literature regarding three key areas related to welfare policy: health, education and…
Refugees Welcome? Recognition of Qualifications Held by Refugees and Their Access to Higher Education in Europe–Country Analyses
The European Students' Union with the support of the Open Society Foundation published a new study on recognition of qualifications held by refugees and their access to higher education in Europe. The paper analyses how a selected pool of countries use education as an instrument for inclusion of refugees, asylum seekers and persons in refugee-like situation. The report includes detailed…
Reconceptualising refugee education: exploring the diverse learning contexts of unaccompanied young refugees upon resettlement
This article explores unaccompanied young refugees’ participation in various learning contexts beyond school. Drawing from a qualitative study based on interviews with unaccompanied young refugees, educators and social workers in Norway, the findings emphasise the need for a holistic approach to refugee education in and across contexts of learning. The refugees originate from countries where access to formal schooling was…
The Norwegian Way: Protection through Higher Education the Recognition Process for Syrian Refugees in HE
The current Syrian refugee exodus to Europe has created an urgent need for European societies to implement faster integration methods, to reduce the risk of social and economic alienation. Since the latest refugee wave includes more highly educated people, higher education institutions might serve as a strong inclusion instrument to integrate them into local communities. Norway has established a novel…
Understanding and Improving the social integration of immigrant background students in Oslo and Florence
Europe has experienced a significant shift in demographics over the past several decades. This internationalization is in part due to intra-European mobility, falling birth rates among native-born citizens, and the influx of refugees fleeing from civil wars in developing countries such as Syria and Sudan. This trend has sparked research into the integration of immigrant-background students. Data from the Organisation…
An investigation of the difficulties faced by Syrian asylum seekers and Syrian refugees in acquiring a second language and the possible solutions from refugees’ perspective
The current dissertation sheds light on the difficulties that Syrian refugees and asylum seekers face in acquiring the languages of the countries they had to flee to. To do so, this qualitative research investigated the experience of 45 Syrian refugees and asylum seekers who were hosted by 9 different countries around the world (Germany, Turkey, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, France, Malay,…
Refugee and Immigrant Children’s Right to Education – A Comparative Analysis of Education Policies targeting Immigrant Children in the Nordic Countries
This report addresses how government legislation in the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden ensure the right to primary and lower secondary education for immigrant students and how this legislation has developed since the 1980s. The focus of this report rests on the governmental obligation to ensure the right to education, based on the framework developed by Tomaševski…
University civic engagement in forced migration: A comparative case study on university support programs for migrants and asylum seekers in Norway and the UK
This study aims at to address the problem of understanding how the University of Oslo (UiO) and the Kings College of London (KCL) support refugees through their respective programs: the Academic Dugnad and Sanctuary. To do so, the first step was to structure a conceptual framework based on the idea that university civic engagement (UCE) can be conceptualized as a…
Aspirations in the context of irregular migration: The migratory trajectories of Syrian asylum seekers arriving in Norway
While many public figures and civil society members perceive irregular migration as the source of various problems that modern societies encounter nowadays, this paper argues that this form of migration is rather the output of an outdated international system. The latter tends to protect the modern societies by enforcing the borders of nation states and leaving the most disadvantaged individuals…
A comparative study of attitude and motivation for learning English, among adult refugees and ethnic Norwegian 10th graders
The research focus of this study is adult refugee learners sitting the Lower Secondary Exam in written English, in Norway. Since 2014, the exam has been the same for all candidates, regardless of their background. In spring 2015, the majority group of exam candidates, ethnic Norwegian 10th grade learners, received the average grade 3.9, while the average exam grade for…
Unaccompanied refugee minors’ early life narratives of physical abuse from caregivers and teachers in their home countries
The early life narratives of 34 unaccompanied refugee minors, especially their reports of interpersonal violence, were analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The youth originated from eight countries, with Afghanistan, Eritrea, and Sri Lanka being the most frequent origins, and they arrived to Norway before the age of 15. Four of these youth were girls. The physical violence took place…
The mediational role of schools in supporting psychosocial transitions among unaccompanied young refugees upon resettlement in Norway
This article explores the role of schools in supporting unaccompanied young refugees in critical psychosocial transitions concerning processes of socialisation, integration and rehabilitation upon resettlement. Drawing from a qualitative research project based on interviews with students and staff conducted during fieldwork in five secondary schools in Norway, the findings suggest that the psychosocial support provided by schools is random and…