On Friday 20th October 2023, the Hub for Education for Refugees in Europe (HERE) held our fourth webinar for members of the HERE Network and beyond to share information on a variety of refugee education projects from across Europe. The aim was to extend the critical conversations that were started at the Inaugural HERE Conference in 2022 and our previous networking sessions in MarchMay and June 2023, and to provide a space for teachers, practitioners, academics, researchers and other interested parties to come together to learn, discuss and make connections.






The online event involved five lightning presentations:

The Refugees as Re-builders™ (RRB) programme

Muna Ismail (Initiatives of Change UK)

The RRB™ programme covers the skills, knowledge and practice required to initiate dialogue for social cohesion, create sustainable livelihoods for resilience and apply ethical leadership for just governance. The RRB™ course is designed to strengthen the capability and expertise participants already possess as rebuilders, providing them with the resources and practical tools needed to potentially develop and facilitate workshops within their diaspora communities and countries of origin.

The effects of family separation on teenage refugees

Shaden Sabouni (Fulda University)

Family separation leaves inevitable negative effects on teenage refugees, but when war threatens, people become obliged to leave. Some families can afford the cost of leaving together, while others cannot. They send one child in ahead with the hope that he will be able to rescue the rest of the family afterward. In this paper, migrant children are closely explored by telling their own stories as they arrived in Germany unaccompanied by their parents. Those children arrived in a new country, unprepared to face the burden to come. The period of waiting in camps, not being able to speak the language, and facing unexpected changes without having any family members to rely on has reshaped their attitudes toward their families. adding to the hardships of being separated from their families, those teenagers were able to learn the language that arrived before their parents, they faced the difficulties of cultural adaptation alone. They gained a better picture of the system and the laws of the new country, and they were more able to integrate into the new system. The family that came afterward, were treated as caretakers instead of the children in the family. These contradictions between taking the role of the leader and their need for a supporting family at the same time have caused a profound complexity in the life of those teenagers. They have reshaped their attitude toward the concept of family, home, and their own future as well.

(Re)imagining the higher education border

Rebecca Murray (University of Sheffield)

The ‘higher education border’ reflects the extension of state orchestrated immigration controls into universities, resulting in the marginalisation of young migrants. Opportunities in higher education (HE) hold transformative life changing potential, rendering bordering practices excluding young migrants with precarious immigration status, as particularly punitive. In the absence of existing data that reports on the challenges encountered or demand from this group in HE, this study seeks to quantify the higher education border that will facilitate a ‘(re)imagining’ of its impact and scale. This study will produce a dataset from existing data held by two national NGOs (REUK and STAR), generated through HE advice delivered to young migrants. Interpretation of this dataset and prioritisation of research findings will be undertaken in participation with young migrants. Key contributions will centre on increasing the visibility of borders and their reproduction in the HE context and developing innovative methodologies integrating secondary data analysis and practices of co-production.

HERE’s what we know about early childhood education for refugees in Europe

Yousef Khalifa Aleghfeli (University of Nottingham; University of Oxford)

In scoping all existing research on education for and about refugees and migrants in Europe published between January 2015 and June 2023, the Hub for Education for Refugees in Europe (HERE) project found that only 6% of included studies focused on ECE. This study aimed to examine the existing research on ECE in Europe to uncover existing challenges and opportunities. It underscores why more research is urgently needed to understand the needs, circumstances, and experiences of refugee and forced migrant children and families accessing ECE services, and makes the case for further investments in ECE research and programming for refugee and forced migrant communities.

How to make integration in a country of transit? Insights and innovative practices for refugee children and unaccompanied minors in Bulgaria

Anna Krasteva (New Bulgarian University); Mina Hristova (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)

REFUGE-ED (a Horizon 2020 international collaborative research project) links two disciplines: Education and mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in humanitarian settings to improve academic achievement and the dynamic integration of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking children. Refuge-Ed in Bulgaria was run in five pilots: three schools with intercultural profile characterized by both high percentage of minority, mainly Roma, children, and a much smaller and fluctuating number of asylum seekers, refugee, and migrant children, as well as two safe zones for unaccompanied minors. Both types of pilots experience very high volatility of the refugee children with serious educational, pedagogical, and psychological challenges. Our analysis and conclusions driven from the last three years of project implementation focus on the need for creative approaches for integration in a country of transit.


Links to resources shared during the meeting


We look forward to meeting together again in mid-December. All information on the next event will be shared via our Twitter (@hubHEREeurope) and newsletter (sign up here), and all are welcome!