Bringing together research about refugee education from across Europe.

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HERE Database

The HERE Database is a searchable collection of academic and non-academic resources on refugee education from across Europe, published since 2015. Resources have been curated in accordance with set criteria designed to maximise relevance to the question of what we know about the educational provision for and educational experiences of people from refugee backgrounds arriving in Europe. For a detailed description of how the database has been developed, researched and curated the Technical Report is available to read and download.

Links are provided to all source documents in the HERE Database, some of which may require payment or institutional membership to view fully, but many are open access and available to everyone.

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Refugee Education: Theorising Practice in Schools
In the last five years, more child refugees have made perilous journeys into Europe than at any point since the Second World War. Once refugee children begin to establish their new lives, education becomes a priority. However, access to high-quality inclusive education can be challenging and is a social justice issue for schools, policymakers and for the research community. Underpinned…
Guiding, shaping and resisting: Refugee mothers’ educational strategies as they navigate ‘unsettlement’
Contrary to popular media tropes of the ‘young, lone, male refugee’ arriving at Europe’s borders, Greece has in fact seen a steady flow of female refugees arriving since 2015. Most newcomers come in family groups, and many, including teenage girls, are mothers - many of whom aspire to continue (or begin) their schooling. While access to formal education has increased…
Extending the Welcome: The role of university–community partnerships in supporting refugees in England
As issues around refugee rights have come to public attention following the surge in asylum application in Europe in 2015, several responses have been developed by universities in England to extend the welcome to refugees in both local communities and on their campuses. While some institutions act on their own, others have created social relationships and collaborations with local and…
Finding Their Way The Journey to University for Refugee and Asylum-Seeking Young people in Coventry
This research report explores the journey to higher education for refugee and asylum-seeking young people living in Coventry. It is the product of a partnership between Refugee Education UK and the University of Warwick's English and Comparative Literary Studies Department. The qualitative research study explores the barriers to university facing refugee and asylum-seeking young people in Coventry, and reveals the…
Refugee education in Europe: Learning after lockdown
Schools and higher education systems worldwide are finishing their third academic year under disruptions caused by COVID-19. The pandemic has had unprecedented effects on education. During peak infection periods, many countries mandated school and university closures for weeks or months, forcing hundreds of millions of teachers, parents, children and students around the globe to stay at home and switch to…
“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:…
Educators’ interactions with refugee pupils: knowledge, attitudes, and practices
The value of school for refugee and asylum seeking children is well established, in terms of their right to education under international law, their socio-emotional well-being, and their adaptation to living in a new country and culture. Yet there is a critical gap in our understanding of refugee education from the perspectives of educators – the people who interact with…
Migrant and Refugee Students from the Global South at Austrian Universities: A Typology for Targeted Support
Drawing on qualitative data from five focus group discussions (N=23), we developed a typology with migrant and refugee students from the Global South living in Vienna and studying at an Austrian university. Our findings indicate that different levels of support are required, depending on both structural and personal factors that respondents displayed. Structural factors include residence permit, field and level…
How liminality enhances conviviality through multilingual co-creations: Young refugees in the Netherlands
This article explores the multilingual creativity of young refugees in the Netherlands and the social contexts and situations in which it develops. Because these young refugees form an under-researched group, the authors build on different discipline-based studies on (young migrants’) multilingualism, super-diversity, conviviality, liminality and networks. The authors start with the collection of personal network data including languages used with…
Conceptual metaphors, plurilingualism and second language acquisition: a refugee education case study
The purpose of this study is to explore the use of equivalent conceptual metaphors and the correspondent linguistic expressions in refugee students’ L1s and L2s and examine the possible positive effects conceptual metaphors can induce for vocabulary learning and retention in second language learning. Moreover, another aim of the research is to investigate the use of conceptual metaphors as a…
Music facilitator experiences of working in asylum seeker centres: Complexities, dilemmas and opportunities
Accommodation centres for those seeking asylum present particular contexts in which to facilitate music making. Contextual and systemic difficulties abound. An exploration of a music project within six asylum seeker centres in Ireland is presented with a focus on the experiences of the four facilitators involved. Data are presented from facilitator reflective logs, researcher observations and recorded professional development sessions…
Teacher’s beliefs and flexible language strategies in a monolingual preschool classroom
This study aims to examine teacher’s beliefs about Syrian children’s Turkish language learning and teacher’s language strategies in a monolingual preschool classroom located in a multilingual city, Siirt Turkey. This ethnographic study was conducted between October 2019 and January 2020 in a multilingual city. The data included fieldnotes kept during participant observations of children’s interactions and interviews with the teacher.…
A multicultural education approach to Turkish picture books written for Syrian refugee children
Syrian refugees worldwide experience many difficulties, including integrating into the host country. Turkey host most of the Syrian refugees, but limited studies examined Syrian refugees’ transnational experiences in children’s literature. In this study, I have examined the picture books written for Syrian refugee children published in Turkey through a multicultural education framework to highlight how microculture and macroculture relate to…
Higher Education for forcibly displaced migrants in Turkey
Higher education (HE) provides a unique opportunity to accomplish social and economic integration and mitigate the impact of displacement for forcibly displaced migrants (FDMs) in the long run. Against this backdrop, the purpose of the study is to explore the HE experiences of Syrian FDMs in Turkey. Utilizing snowball sampling, 24 FDMs in Turkey were interviewed. The results suggested that…
The form-school as a vehicle for the detotalization of refugee camps in Greece
Refugee camps have been multiplying at the gates of the European Union since the escalation of the Libyan and Syrian conflicts in 2016, particularly in Greece and Italy. These countries, which act as the main gateways, are implementing a “hotspots” approach included in the European agenda on migration established for the period 2015–2020. At the same time, restrictive migration policies…
Political socialization experiences of Turkish citizen university students of Syrian origin
Sometime after the anti-regime demonstrations began in Syria in March 2011, there was a huge wave of migration to neighboring countries, including Turkey. Some of these fled youth who were forced to emigrate from Syria came to Turkey and later became university students and acquired Turkish citizenship. This qualitative study focuses on the process of political socialization and political resocialization…
Planning for Belonging: Including Refugee and Asylum Seeker Students
The education of students from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds is an international concern. It calls for inspired teachers, sensitive interventions, and informed leadership. This writing discusses the views of students, teachers, general staff, parents, and the principal of a primary school in regional New South Wales, Australia regarding the sense of belonging that is so critical to the very…
World-mindedness of young people during the rise in migration in Europe: a case study of Czechia, Finland, Germany and The Netherlands.
During the 2015 sudden rise in migration movements in Europe, approximately 2.4 million refugees arrived in Europe and 1.2 million asylum applications were received in the European Union countries. We were interested in finding out whether these rapid changes and the polarised attitudes represented in the media affected young people's attitudes towards people with different cultural backgrounds. This study, therefore,…
How schools in Germany shape and impact the lives of adolescent refugees in terms of mental health and social mobility
Schools are relevant settings for supporting refugee adolescents' mental health. As education and migration are important social determinants of health, we aim to integrate the qualitative findings of our mixed-methods study into a broader discussion regarding the role of schools and the potential effects on refugee adolescents' lives and mental health, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.…
Sustaining Non-formal Refugee Education Programs in a Covid-future World
In this discussion essay, characteristics of the provision of formal and non-formal education for refugee children in Greece will be explored through a comparative approach. The comparison reveals aspects of the social environments in the lives of refugee children. These will be examined through the lens of Uri Bronfenbrenner’s (1979, 1986) ecological systems theory as a means to understand the…
Thrown in at the deep end? Perceptions of burdens, gains, and contributions to the integration of refugee students among teachers with(out) target group-specific professional knowledge
In Germany, young migrants and refugees whose German language skills are not sufficient for attending regular classes at school are assigned to so-called “preparation classes”. As the name implies, the main objective of these classes is to teach German language skills and thereby prepare students for regular classes or vocational education and training. Teachers in these classes face special challenges:…
Challenges in the Medical and Psychosocial Care of the Paediatric Refugee—A Systematic Review
Background: After the invasion of Ukraine, neighbouring countries were forced to find systemic solutions to provide medical care to those fleeing the war, including children, as soon as possible. In order to do this, it is necessary to know the communication problems with refugee minors and find proposals for their solutions. Methods: A systematic review of the literature from 2016…
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:…
Summer Preschools for Syrian Refugee and Host Community Children in Turkey: A Model of Contextually Sensitive Early Intervention
Research Findings: This study evaluated the impacts of the Summer Preschools Program on 5-to-6-year-old Syrian refugee and local children from vulnerable communities of Turkey. Developed as a community-based contextually sensitive early intervention model, the program aimed to promote developmental well-being and school readiness of children from forced displacement and abject poverty backgrounds by supporting cognitive, language, and socioemotional development prior…
The dynamics of recent refugees’ language acquisition: how do their pathways compare to those of other new immigrants?
Do the processes underlying destination-language acquisition differ between recently arrived refugees and other new immigrants? Based on a well-established model of language learning according to which language fluency is a function of efficiency, incentives, and exposure, this study addresses general processes of language learning as well as conditions specific to refugees. Longitudinal data on refugees (IAB-BAMF-SOEP Sample of Refugees in…
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…
Coping of Young Refugees in Germany: Relations to Gender, Age, and Gender Role Attitudes
Background: Coping is considered to have an important influence on well-being, especially in adolescent refugees dealing with a high amount of stress. In addition, gender differences in coping are a common topic for research and are often attributed to differences in socialization between boys and girls. Aims: The study aims at clarifying the gender differences in coping strategies used by…
Understanding Participation Experiences in Sport Programs for the Acculturation of Refugee Youth: A Comparative Study of Two Different Programs in the US and Sweden
Sports can help refugees mitigate traumas, connect with others, and learn positive values. In this illustrative comparative study, we compare two sport programs for the acculturation of refugees in the US and Sweden. Our aim is to describe both programs, compare them with the literature, and present suggestions for the field. Hence, we placed the program participants at the center…
Challenges of migrant students in Turkish higher education
Migrant students, including refugees and international students who begin or continue their education in Turkey, encounter several challenges. This study aimed to identify the challenges that migrant students face in the Turkish higher education system. The sample of the study consisted of 75 migrant students from six universities in Turkey in the 2019–2020 academic year. Demographic information of the students…
Social Engagement and Cultural Adaptation of Young Refugees Through Gaming and Playful Design
The document addresses one of the main themes of the present day, i.e., the problem of forced migration—commonly referred to as seeking refuge. The target user of this study is exiled children who, in most cases, arrive at their destination alone and with few or no primary survival conditions. UNHCR (2015) points out that more than 65 million people worldwide…
Mental health problems in refugee and immigrant primary school children in Flanders, Belgium
Background: European countries face the challenge of promoting refugee and immigrant children’s well-being within their host communities, invoking the necessity of adequate mental health assessment. This study aims to contribute to document the psychosocial well-being of primary school refugee and non-refugee immigrant children in Flanders, Belgium. Method: A total of 120 children (8–12 years old) with migration backgrounds participated in the…
A Corpus-Based Comparison of Inclusiveness in L2 Reading Materials for Refugee Children
Despite increased emphasis on the role of inclusive practices and materials in post-COVID-19 classrooms and warnings about implicit biases against disadvantaged groups, the textbook problem has rarely been approached with equity measures in mind. This multimethod study aimed to investigate to what extent L2 reading materials, locally produced and used for refugee education in Turkey and New Zealand, include all…
Teacher agency for social justice in telecollaboration: locating agentive positioning in virtual language interaction
In this study, we draw data from a tripartite telecollaborative project that involved 112 teacher candidates (TCs) from university-based teacher education programmes in France, Turkey, and the USA. Theoretically, we rely on Pantić’s (2015. A model for study of teacher agency for social justice. Teachers and Teaching 21, no. 6: 759–778) model of teacher agency for social justice and use…
Sustainable Development Goals and social work in the migration context–a higher education dialogue between Germany, Jordan, and Lebanon
Germany, Jordan, and Lebanon’s social, political, and socio-economic structures are influenced by a long history of them receiving refugees and migrants. This was a starting point for the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg (Germany), the German Jordanian University, Yarmouk University (Jordan), and the Lebanese University to engage in an intercultural and professional exchange project on social work in the field…
What works to facilitate displaced and refugee-background students’ access and participation in European higher education: results from a multilingual systematic review
This article reports the results of a systematic review on displaced and refugee-background students’ transitioning and (re-)integration into European higher education (HE). A total of 7082 studies have been assessed for eligibility in six languages. Forty-four empirical studies conducted in 14 countries of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) between 2014 and 2021 met the inclusion criteria. Evidence from these…
An ecological, multilingual approach to language learning with newly reunited refugee families in Scotland
Although academic literature and Scotland's refugee integration strategy recommend multilingual, decolonising approaches, language classes for refugees in Scotland usually focus only on the target language (English) and are predominantly teacher-led. This paper argues that newly reunited refugee families can be better supported through an ecological, multilingual approach by presenting empirical data from a five-month teaching study using qualitative methods (semi-structured…
Experiences of forced migration: learning for educators and learners: a report
A combination of structural barriers, inadequate student welfare provision and the absence of psycho-social and academic support make higher education access for forcibly displaced students challenging. Many of these students will have experienced many stressful and potentially traumatic events that may have or may continue to impact their mental health and wellbeing. This article draws on reflections by educators and…
Understanding Syrian parents’ educational involvement in their children's primary education in Turkey
Parental involvement in education is significant for children's schooling experience and their cognitive and academic development. It also plays a role in refugee children's success and integration in the host country. However, understanding refugee parents’ educational involvement can be a complex issue because of their different cultural beliefs and unique challenges as refugees. Drawing on 20 in-depth interviews with Syrian…
Opening up the University: Teaching and Learning with Refugees
Through a series of empirically and theoretically informed reflections, Opening Up the University offers insights into the process of setting up and running programs that cater to displaced students. Including contributions from educators, administrators, practitioners, and students, this expansive collected volume aims to inspire and question those who are considering creating their own interventions, speaking to policy makers and university…
Educational Integration from the Perspective of Refugee Parents and Children [VKLJUČEVANJE V VZGOJNO-IZOBRAŽEVALNI SISTEM IZ PERSPEKTIVE STARŠEV IN OTROK BEGUNCEV]
This article is based on a research project executed by the authors in 2021. It revolves around the experiences of refugee children and parents within the Slovenian educational system. Data was acquired from twelve families. Interviewees spoke about the positive and negative aspects of educational integration. Those mainly consisted of language difficulties, learning difficulties, and discrimination. The presented research aims…
The Life of Syrian Asylum-Seeking Children in a Temporary Shelter Centre in Turkey: An Ethnographic Study on Primary School Education
This research aims to describe primary school children’s life and education experiences who escaped from the war environment in Syria and took refuge in Turkey. The study was conducted with an ethnographic research design. The study participants comprised fourth-grade students, teachers, parents, and the close social circle of Syrian nationals who stayed in the temporary shelter in Turkey. Observation, interview,…
Accommodation, empowerment and disinvestment—Typical second-language learning trajectories of Syrian refugees in Germany
This paper asks how refugees' second-language learning processes are embedded in their lives in host countries. To address this question, the paper proposes the concept of second-language learning trajectories. These trajectories explain refugees' second-language learning as closely intertwined with learners' self-understanding, experiences and positioning in host countries. Using longitudinal narrative interview data from Syrian refugees in Germany, the paper identifies…
The VIDAS Data Set: A Spoken Corpus of Migrant and Refugee Spanish Learners
The VIDAS data set (Verbal Interaction Dataset of Acquired Spanish) presents data from 200 participants from different countries and language backgrounds (50 Philippines with L1 Tagalog; 50 Ukrainians with L1 Ukrainian; 50 Moroccans with L1Arabic; 50 Romanians with L1 Romanian). They completed an oral expression and interaction test in the context of a Spanish certification exam for adult migrants. The…
Mobile Learning Applications for Refugees: A Systematic Literature Review
The proliferation of mobile devices in everyday life since the end of the 20th century has led to mobile applications for educational purposes and the creation of the research field of mobile learning. Despite the extended research interest on the effectiveness of this field, there is limited research on mobile learning for various social groups, such as refugees, students with…
Refugee Reception Re-examined: a Quantitative Study on the Impact of the Reception Period for Mental Health and Host Country Language Proficiency Among Syrian Refugees in the Netherlands
In many European countries, refugees spend their first period after arrival in the receiving country in reception centers. Though this reception period has been heavily criticized, especially in relation to mental health, few scholars examined its impact on refugee integration. Since host country language learning is the main focus for most recent arrivals, this study re-examines the impact of the…
New migrants, new challenges?-Activating multilingual resources for understanding mathematics: Institutional and interactional factors
New adolescent migrants from Arabic-speaking countries face complex challenges when participating in regular mathematics classes in Germany: They have been educated in their family language(s) and are obliged to adapt to a new (second or target) language and to different styles of teaching. In contrast, 3rd generation multilingual students, who usually are schooled in German only, have rarely ever used…
Professional intercultural communicative competence and labour market integration among highly-educated refugees in the Netherlands [Professionelle interkulturelle Kommunikationskompetenz und die Integration von hochqualifizierten Geflüchteten in den niederländischen Arbeitsmarkt]
In the last decade, thousands of forcibly-displaced people have sought refuge in the Netherlands. Many of them are highly educated, and their integration into the host society's labour market could improve their own quality of life as well as making a significant contribution to the country's economy. However, refugees face many challenges in their search for employment. This is the…
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…
Moving on from Dutch to English: Young Refugees Feeling Betrayed by the Dutch Language Integration Policy and Seeking for More Inclusive Environments
This article explores the linguistic strategies of young refugees (ages 12-23) in the Netherlands. The study takes place within a societal context in which new migrants and refugees are increasingly pressured to learn Dutch as key to their integration, but English is becoming more and more dominant, and in which learning Dutch is not considered necessary for other newcomer groups…
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