Helsinki University Press

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Representing vulnerable, Syrian migrant children’s insights: Testimonies of inclusion and exclusion in schooling
This chapter describes the words of Syrian migrant young people in two different contexts, taking a human rights framework. One human right that we focus on is the right for children to voice their views and concerns and have these acted on. We provide a background section on the Syrian political situation and its impact on Lebanon, to foreground the…
2023
The right to higher education for refugees and forcibly displaced people: Briefing note compendium
The following briefing note compendium reflects wide-ranging analysis and insights of the various barriers that refugees and forcibly displaced people experience in accessing, progressing, and completing higher education. At the same time, the briefing notes present considerations that States and other higher education stakeholders should take into account to defend and promote the right to higher education for this equity…
2023
Pockets of positivity: School leaders’ strategies for developing school inclusion for students with refugee and asylum-seeking backgrounds
Currently, millions of children and families with refugee and asylum-seeker experiences find themselves living in new countries, with different languages, dissimilar cultures, diverse expectations, and different forms of schooling. For school leaders, the challenge of integrating these students and their families, some of whom may have endured and be dealing with trauma and loss, can be challenging. This paper presents…
2023
Education on hold: Addressing barriers to learning among refugee children and youth from Ukraine—Challenges and recommendations
The education of children both within and outside Ukraine has been disrupted for several years. Hundreds of thousands had already been internally displaced since 2014 as a result of the conflict in the eastern regions and Crimea, while the COVID-19 pandemic brought periods of extended school closures, a pivot to online learning and other major disruptions. Since the start of…
2023
Back to school 2023-2024: Report on Education for children displaced by the conflict in Ukraine at the start of the second school year. September 2023
Humanitarian organizations are actively engaged in delivering educational support to children displaced in Ukraine and host countries by the conflict. As Ukraine and host country governments strive to deliver education to all children, it must be recognized that: • humanitarian organizations play a critical role in ensuring that displaced, vulnerable children receive education and psycho-social support integral to their development.…
2023
Being a mathematics teacher in schools in temporary accommodation centres: Turkish teachers and Syrian students
In the study, the difficulties faced by mathematics teachers in schools in Temporary Accommodation Centers in Türkiye and ways of coping were investigated. In this sense, it is focused on the experiences of mathematics teachers working in the schools in the Temporary Accommodation Center, and it is aimed to contribute to the understanding of the teaching processes. The study data…
2023
Enhancing education opportunities: A short assessment on education pathways to the UK for refugees and individuals from forced displacement backgrounds
This report presents the findings of a short study on the opportunities and challenges encountered by refugees and individuals from a forced displacement background in accessing education pathways to the UK and seeks to provide recommendations on improving these complementary pathways. The research for this report was carried out by UNHCR UK between March and August 2023. UNHCR UK interviewed…
2023
Co-creating and co-producing learning environments in adult education through the World Café method
Introduction: This article analyzes teachers’ efforts in preventing negative social control among newly arrived refugees at a Norwegian Adult Education Center (AEC). As the teachers realized that micro aggressive behavior hindered learning, they aimed for improving the learning environment. The World Café method (WCM) was implemented to change the learning environment in a positive way. Methods: Data was collected by…
2024
Considerations for preparatory education for asylum-seekers and refugees in Iceland
UNHCR’s Representation for the Nordic and Baltic Countries has submitted considerations for setting up preparatory education for asylum-seekers and refugees in Iceland. The UNHCR Global Education Strategy 2030 highlights the educational challenges faced by refugee children, with many not attending primary or secondary school, leading to negative impacts on their future careers and livelihoods. In Iceland, a surge in arrivals…
2023
Together or separate? Tracing classroom pedagogies of (un)belonging for newcomer migrant pupils in two Austrian schools
Even though receiving newcomer pupils in schools is not a new phenomenon, many education systems grapple with finding adequate schooling arrangements that foster belonging and inclusion. Over the years, policy-makers and school practitioners seem to echo recurring dilemmas in terms of what language support models may promote optimal inclusion, and whether and how to support the language of schooling while…
2024
Ukrainian refugees in Poland: Two schools under one roof—One is offline, the other one online
With the unprecedented refugee crisis in Poland, democratic education is all about designing a thoughtful crisis response. This response, through making public schools more inclusive and responsive to the needs of various learners, can save Poland from developing a tiered and thoroughly unequal system of schooling. We should be wary of technology’s potential to, both, aid and disrupt this process.
2024
Out of school: Assessment on barriers to school enrolment for Ukrainian refugee adolescents in Poland
The „Out of School” report, commissioned by CARE International in Poland, International Rescue Committee, and Save the Children Poland, delves into one of the significant challenges confronting the education system in Poland. Thousands of Ukrainian children and youth are not attending schools, potentially compromising their social and academic development, and hindering their integration into Polish society. One of the key…
2024
Hometown conflict and refugees’ integration efforts
How does violence in origin areas affect the educational outcomes of refugees in their destinations? Using administrative panel data, we find that heightened violence in the hometowns of Syrian students leads to improvements in their school outcomes in Türkiye. Turkish language and Math scores of refugee students improve, with larger impacts on Turkish scores. There is no impact on naturalized…
2024
Integrating refugees and migrants into higher education in Portugal? An action research experience in a Portuguese university
This article results from research comprised of fieldwork ethnography, participant observation, collection of life stories, interviews and testimonials of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, living in Portugal. We focus on a particular experience of the research named Living in a Different Culture (LDC), which took place between 2017 and 2019, aimed at participants who shared the goal of becoming university…
2024
Teacher evaluations of interethnic bullying of an Arab student: The role of perceiving refugees as a threat or benefit
Interethnic bullying that targets ethnic minority students has serious consequences for the lives of victimized students. Teachers’ evaluations of the bullying are critical because teacher intervention can stop bullying and improve the adjustment of victimized students. Because the literature has documented partially overlapping biases against people of Arab ethnicity and people with refugee backgrounds, this study investigated whether teachers’ attitudes…
2024
‘They usually look happy.’ Approaches to the adaptation ofUkrainian refugees in Czech schools
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, a high number ofUkrainian refugee children came to the Czech Republic, a countrywith little previous experience with refugee schooling. This studyexplored how Czech lower secondary schools in the 2022/2023academic year managed to adapt to Ukrainian refugee students.We collected data from six schools that received high numbers ofUkrainian students; we interviewed principals, teachers,…
2024
“(Maybe) I am going to school-age educare because now I have a residence permit”: Children’s non-access to school-age educare in a Swedish asylum context
Sweden’s school-age educare has been identified as important for children’s access to play and meaningful leisure. However, research has not addressed asylum-seeking children’s access to school-age educare or its potential role in asylum contexts. This article draws on data from a 1-year ethnographic fieldwork with children in a Swedish asylum context and explores asylum-seeking children’s perspectives and experiences in a…
2024
Imagining a better world: Assessing the immediate and delayed effects of imagined contact on attitudes toward refugees in elementary school
Introduction: Preparing host-society children for contact with refugees coming into their classes poses a new and important challenge for countries with little prior experience in integration. Imagined contact is a prejudice-reduction intervention that can be particularly useful in this context. However, its long-term effects and potential age-related variations in its efficacy among primary school children remain understudied. Methods: This study…
2024
Schooling for refugee children: A social justice perspective informed by children from Syria
Schooling for Refugee Children is a collaboration between five authors who explore their interactions with refugee children displaced from Syria to the Lebanese borders and London. Through a programme of carefully tailored research activities, they analyse the children’s representations of their personal journeys and current circumstances, especially with regard to ongoing schooling. The children’s experiences are expressed through their own…
2024
Europe region quarterly update: Education (January – March 2024)
The report calls attention to challenges encountered by displaced children and youth across Europe and offers recommendations for government and non-government stakeholders to undertake in ensuring sustainable access for young learners who remain out-of-school. Additionally, UNHCR highlights key publications and showcases initiatives undertaken with partners to enhance access to learning.
2024
Refugees’ gendered experiences of education in Europe since 2015: A scoping review
This scoping review aims to explore the role of gender in refugees' educational access, experiences, and outcomes in Europe since 2015. Gender can act as a significant barrier to education, and gender stereotypes and bias can affect learning opportunities and outcomes. As a response, a scoping review was conducted to explore the role of gender in refugees' educational access, experiences,…
2023
Learning to navigate ‘unsettlement’: Young refugees’ (re-)engagement with post-15 education in Greece
This qualitative study provides an ethnographic exploration of the experiences of young refugees (aged 15-25) in Greece as they engage with education, amid and despite their uncertain and precarious conditions – here theorised as (manufactured) conditions of ‘unsettlement’. Instead of focusing only on their deficits – as in much refugee education research – it asks: How do young refugees in…
2023
Conceptualising the art of belonging for young refugees and asylum-seekers: Reflections from England and Sweden
The concept of belonging has grown in prominence in research and policy relating to new arrivals from refugee and asylum-seeking backgrounds. Arguably, belonging is replacing integration and inclusion as the panacea to perceived problems associated with places and societies where new arrivals settle. Belonging is also prominent in the literature about formal and informal educational contexts. This paper problematises the…
2024
Upskilling as integration policy: Making the most of refugees’ human capital in a context of skill shortage
The integration of refugees is a serious social policy problem in many advanced countries, and current trends suggest that this issue is unlikely to disappear soon. At the same time, these countries are also experiencing skill shortages in expanding sectors. These twin pressures create an opportunity to use education as a tool to pursue refugee integration. We investigate how refugees…
2023
Immigration, education and insecuritisation. School principals’ small stories on national immigration and integration policies
International migration in general and the recent refugee crisis in particular are complex and much debated topics in European politics. Concurrently, education systems must operate under uncertain and unpredictable conditions. In this situation, migrant children become a group at particular educational risk of exclusion and marginalisation. This paper explores reflections of principals of schools with migrant students regarding how to…
2023
Initial teacher training for secondary schools – A new curriculum for the age of migration?
In this article, competencies of teachers for an age of migration where students with refugee and migration background are part of many classrooms are tied to the question why a current reform in initial teacher education failed to adjust to an urgent need. The country under scrutiny for this case-study is Austria. The focus is on the curricula of secondary…
2023
‘I need to know what to say when children are crying’: A language needs analysis of Scottish primary educators learning Arabic
This article discusses the language needs analysis which informed the development of a beginner Arabic language course for Scottish primary education staff who work with Arabic-speaking refugee children and families. Interviews and focus group were carried out with: Scottish educators; Arabic-speaking refugee children; and parents/carers. They highlighted the following language needs for the course: (a) language for hospitality; (b) language…
2023
Stigmatisation and othering: The case of Syrian students in Turkish schools*
In the last four years, with the implementation of the policy of integration of the Syrian refugee students into the public schools in Turkey, there has been a significant rise in the number of Syrian students in mainstream classrooms. Based on the analysis of the discourses of Turkish teachers and students about Syrian students, this study examines the ways in…
2023
Moving in musicking: The evolving pedagogical practice of the artist-facilitator within asylum seeker centers
The field of community music has been continuously expanding during the last years alongside the need for experienced musicians who can carry out music activities for culturally diverse groups. Based on previous studies, we identified a need for research-based practices for training musicians and music teachers who wish to facilitate community music projects. We believe that it is important to…
2023
Barriers to higher education in displacement: Experiences of Syrian refugee students in Turkish universities
Many refugee youth aspire to complete higher education in order to pursue personal development, obtain secure employment, facilitate socio-economic integration, and build more stable futures in their new communities. However, they often face intersecting legal, economic, linguistic, psychosocial, and structural barriers to accessing higher education. Based on thematic analysis of in-depth interviews, this chapter examines the experiences of a group…
2023
Integration
Strategic temporality permeates the integration experience of Turkey’s Syrians in a number of ways. First, given their temporary legal status, there is a grey area between reception and integration, which is highly symbolic of ambiguous inclusion (Kaya & Nagel, 2021). Until recently, there has been no publicly announced national integration policy; instead, there was only a discourse about uyum (social…
2023
Dynamic multilingualism of refugee families meets monolingual language policy in German ECE institutions
Studies on Family Language Policy state that the shape of family multilingualism is embedded in diverse conditions within and outside the family, like historical, social and political factors, which influence family language practices. In this regard, the monolingual orientation of early childhood education (ECE) institutions in many European nation states is in tension with dynamic family multilingualism, thereby constituting a…
2023
Approaches to the increasing linguistic diversity in Greek and Polish classrooms: Different contexts with similar problems
The paper discusses key educational issues related to the processes of decision-making and continuous teacher development at the level of the national (educational) authorities in Greece and Poland, regarding the urgency of the needs arising from the intensifying migration in the EU over the last two decades, and in view of the research conducted within the MaMLiSE project. The paper…
2023
Higher education for refugees: Policies and practices in the UK, Germany, and France
This chapter examines how different countries allow refugees to pursue higher education. Policy and practice comparisons will be made between the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. In many industrialized countries, refugees are able to pursue higher education. This is an important part of integrating these individuals into the societies in which they reside. However, depending on the country, there may…
2023
Educational strategies to support the inclusion of displaced pupils from Ukraine in Italian schools
The war in Ukraine caused a huge number of displaced people in a very short time. Amongst the refugees were many school-age children who needed to continue studying in the schools of the host countries. Host schools and teachers had to arrange inclusive strategies to integrate the displaced pupils. This study analysed the factors that facilitated the inclusion of displaced…
2023
Affirming the rights of emergent bilingual and multilingual children and families: Interweaving research and practice through the Reggio Emilia approach
Affirming the Rights of Emergent Bilingual and Multilingual Children and Families explores how the philosophy, principles, and practices of the internationally acclaimed Municipal Preschools and Infant Toddler Centers of Reggio Emilia, Italy, advance the social justice and linguistic human rights of emergent bilingual and multilingual children and their families, particularly immigrants and refugees. The book is driven by the authors’…
2023
Refugee and migrant children’s views of integration and belonging in school in Ireland–and the role of micro- and meso-level interactions
Schools are chief among the social institutions impacted by migrant flows as key sites of integration and support for migrant children. This article focuses on micro-and meso-level interactions and their importance to experiences of belonging and socio-educational integration for migrant children. It explores outcomes from qualitative research in Ireland conducted as part of a European research project investigating the socio-educational…
2023
Becoming a teacher: The liminal identities and political agency of refugee teachers
This paper engages with the experiences of refugee teachers through an identity-based conceptualisation of the capability approach to explore these teachers’ social environment, working conditions, values, and lived experiences. The research builds on the teachers’ capabilities literature to argue that norms, dynamics, and identities shape their political agency, opportunities, and constraints, providing nuanced understandings of their experiences as refugee teachers.…
2023
Parental and professional perspectives on educational integration of migrant and refugee children in Ireland
The aim of this paper is to explore qualitative research with Asylum-Seeking and Refugee Parents and Educational Professionals in Ireland and investigate the socio-educational integration of refugee and migrant children in their new schools. This work was undertaken as part of the larger ongoing EU Horizon2020 study ‘Integration Mapping of Refugee and Migrant Children’ (IMMERSE). This paper will focus on…
2023
Multicultural learning environments in Turkey: A new challenge about refugee education
Due to globalization, migration trends, refugee crises, and global media during the past few decades, social and cultural components of societies have undergone significant change. New multicultural societies have a big effect on daily life, culture, and education by bringing new perspectives about being local and universal. Including refugees in the school system creates a new learning environment for local…
2023
Schooling of refugee students from Ukraine in Austria and its risk for creating educational inequity
Due to the unexpected outbreak of war in Ukraine and the resulting forced migration, access to education became an immediate priority for refugee children and youth. Against this backdrop, this study highlights school models of Ukrainian students and sheds light on the associated distribution of school resources using data from 14 problem-centered interviews with school personnel. Results indicate great diversity…
2023
Education policy and refugees in England and Germany: Racist nativism and the reproduction of white supremacy
This paper argues that education policy in England and Germany racialises young refugees and asylum seekers and contributes to upholding white supremacy in the education system. Previous research in both countries has shown that education policy reproduces race inequality, and in England, it has been argued that education policy itself is an act of white supremacy. However, to date there…
2023
How much do “local policies” matter for refugee integration? An analytical model and evidence from a highly decentralized country
A growing number of studies have recently postulated a so-called local turn in the study of immigrant and refugee integration policy. A fundamental, yet untested, assumption of this body of research is that local (sub-national) policies and administrations shape how migrants and refugees integrate into society. We develop and apply an analytical model using multilevel modeling techniques based on large-N,…
2023
The challenges of Ukrainian refugee educators abroad: Survey results based on the example of Poland
The study presents the results of the online case study of Ukrainian refugee educators who were forced to move to Poland. The study aimed to investigate problems encountered by refugee educators and find possible options for supporting them and their professional activities per the interests expressed during the survey in the context of lifelong learning. The conceptual background of the…
2023
Representations and recognition of (un)protected childhood: Dilemmas for Social Education from Melilla
The text1 reflects on the concepts of childhood, social justice, recognition and citizenship, focusing on unaccompanied children and the implications for the socio-educational function related to this group. For this purpose, five interviews were conducted with unaccompanied North African children, adolescents and young people (CAYP) residing in Melilla (Spain) and two of their educators. Two of the CAYP have not…
2023
The challenges of education in contexts of increasing migratory diversity: (Mis)adjustments, adaptative practices and creativity in Portuguese schools
We discuss the repercussions of the intensification and heterogeneity of contemporary migrations, especially forced migrations, in compulsory schooling contexts in Portugal. Our objectives are (i) to identify the major educational challenges arising from transnational migration, (ii) to understand how schools, still very much rooted in an educational-pedagogical nationalism, adjust to these challenges and (iii) to understand the practices of educational…
2023
Educators’ attitudes towards refugee pupils: Intergroup contact and virtuous circles
Educators’ attitudes are a key factor in the practices they enact, their expectations for pupils, and outcomes for pupils. For newly arrived refugee and asylum-seeking children, education is known to play a crucial role in the settling-in process. This study uses survey data (n = 295) and case studies of 17 educators at two schools in England to examine the…
2023
Young refugees and asylum-seekers in Catalonia: An analysis of the implementation of policies and programmes for their social inclusion
Young refugees and asylum-seekers, over 18 years old, face many obstacles in accessing socio-educational services in Catalonia (Spain). This study aims to identify policies and programmes that facilitate or hamper their socio-educational pathways and transition to the labour market in the Catalan context. From a multilevel approach, we analyse the correlation between policies and institutional responses at the macro level…
2023
Are Syrian children integrated into our education?: Turkish teachers’ perspectives on the inclusive education project
Integrating Syrian children into the Turkish national educational system has been one of the most recent and significant discussion issues in educational research and policy making areas. With a primary objective of alleviating Syrian refugees’ linguistic difficulties, a nationwide inclusive education project; Promoting Integration of Syrian Kids into Turkish Education System (PIKTES), has been implemented since 2016 in 26 cities…
2023
Navigating constraints, finding freedom: Exploring asylum seekers’ access to urban arrival infrastructures
This paper explores asylum seekers’ experiences of urban arrival infrastructures, illustrating how these provide asylum seekers with opportunities for familiarization with the reception location and its inhabitants. Drawing on two qualitative case studies in Augsburg, Germany, three different subsets of arrival infrastructures emerged as relevant to familiarization; infrastructures for information, for language learning and for social connection. The analysis shows…
2023
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