02 SES 04 A, Inclusion of Individuals with Migrant Background
Handling the recent ‘refugee crisis’ is a major challenge for many European countries (European Commission 2016). The integration of refugees into education and employment – regardless of whether they have a secure residence status – is an important goal of the European refugee policy (Seukwa 2013: 7). One of the promising factors for successful integration is participation in Vocational Education and Training (VET). Even though the group of refugees is on the socio-political level of single countries ‘extremely marginalised and as such tends to be ignored by traditional VET and integration policies’ (Gag et al. 2013: 288), on the practitioner level, various measures have been taken to integrate them through VET. However, the exchange of information and experiences between VET-actors barely exists, although they are confronted with similar challenges (European Parliament 2016). Resulting from lack of exchange VET providers in different countries are not able to learn and benefit from others. Therefore, establishing quality indicators for VET measurements concerning refugees is an important issue.
The objective of the present study is to investigate such educational quality indicators which are relevant to implement successful training programmes in the field of VET due to integrating refugees which in the following we will label as ‘forced migrants’. Research members of this project are from Austria, Denmark, Germany and Italy. We carry out primary and secondary data analysis in these four countries to develop a general system of quality indicators for integration. The focus of the research project is on initial VET and young ‘forced migrants’ between the age of 15 and 25.
In our project we follow a multidimensional approach (O’Connor 1988). We distinguish between macro, meso and micro levels of integration. At the macro level, cultural, political and economic dimensions are analysed. At the meso level the influence of subsystems, e.g. institutional context of national VET systems are regarded. The micro level considers learning programmes at the operational level. For the macro and meso level we use concepts of the field of ‘Forced Migration Studies’ (e.g. Fiddian-Qasmiyeh et al. 2016a, Zetter 2014). As we are currently in an ‘age of migration’ (Castles et al. 2014), environmental, social, economic and political factors of migration are interwoven (Amrith 2014: 1142). A precise division of flight and other forms of migration is not possible. We therefore apply the construct of ‘forced migrants’ that includes a wider category of people than the term ‘refugee’ which is often reduced to a legal status. In doing so we take ‘mixed flows’ (Castles et al. 2014: 229) of migration into account and acknowledge the heterogeneity and agency of migrants who are forced to leave their home country because of different reasons (Fiddian-Qasmiyeh et al. 2016b: 5f.). The objective of integration is related to four overall themes (Ager/Strang 2008: 166): ‘achievement and access across the sectors of employment, housing, education and health; assumptions and practice regarding citizenship and rights; processes of social connection […]; and structural barriers to such connection related to language, culture and the local environment.’ Through the perspective of VET our study mainly focuses on employment and education.
Based on this framework, we develop quality indicators which influence VET programmes at the micro level. Therefore we use the general input-process-output/outcome model of education quality evaluation (Adams 1993, Dubs 1998). This model provides important quality dimensions at different phases during the implementation of educational programmes. At the input phase, dimensions as participant entrance requirements are regarded. The process phase deals with dimensions like teaching-learning methods. The output phase investigates direct teaching-learning results as achievement of learning objectives. The outcome quality analyses the access to employment and further education (ibid.).
The research design is subdivided into two phases. The study starts with a secondary data analysis based on this framework. That is a comprehensive literature review in four European countries (Germany, Denmark, Italy and Austria). Different types of literature e.g. research publications, political papers and programme reports on the country level and European level from the field of migration integration are analysed through a semi-structured analysis sheet in order to work systematically and comparably. The results of the literature review show certain quality indicators which are of particular relevance for the integration of forced migrants through VET programmes. Taking these findings we specify and enhance the model of education quality evaluation used in the study. At the second phase, primary data is investigated through in-depth case studies (Yin 1984) of VET-related institutions of integration. Per partner country five VET programmes with a focus on forced migrants, which are already put into practice, are analysed. Published documents (e.g. curricula, manuals, websites) are examined and qualitative expert interviews with actors of these programmes are conducted. The aim of the analysis of the case studies is to explore the applicability of results from the first research phase. The developed quality indicators are verified and revised. The data of the literature review and the case studies is evaluated using the content analysis method (Mayring 2014). Based on the findings we develop a general system of educational quality indicators which shows the interplay of the macro, meso and micro level of integration through VET.
As the project just started, at the conference we will primarily demonstrate main findings of the literature review, which will be carried out between February and June 2018. First of all quality indicators for the vocational preparation and integration of forced migrants through VET programmes, identified in the analysed literature, are presented. Furthermore, differences in the findings between the four partner countries are discussed. Contrasts are expected due to varying socio-cultural, political and educational structures in these countries (Busemeyer/Trampusch 2012). Based on the first results of the project we want to illustrate ideas concerning adaptions of the quality evaluation model of Dubs towards integration of forced migrants and the development of a quality indicator system for this group. Finally we will discuss the relevance of the findings for VET and refugee policies in European countries.
Adams, D. (1993). Introduction. In D. Adams (Ed.), Defining Educational Quality. Improving Educational Quality Project (pp. 3-24). Pittsburgh: University Pittsburgh. Ager, A./Strang, A. (2008). Understanding Integration: A Conceptual Framework. Journal of Refugee Studies, 21 (2), pp. 166-191. Amrith, S. S. (2014): Currents of Global Migration. Development and Change, 45 (5), pp. 1134-1154. Busemeyer, M./Trampusch, C. (2012). The Comparative Political Economy of Collective Skill Formation. In M. Busemeyer/C. Trampusch, Christine (Ed.), The Political Economy of Collective Skill Formation (pp. 3-38). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Castles, S./Haas, H. d./Miller, M. J. (2014). The Age of Migration. International Population Movements in the Modern World. Fifth Edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Dubs, R. (1998). Qualitätsmanagement für Schulen. St. Gallen: Universität St. Gallen. European Commission (2016). The EU and the refugee crisis. Brussels: European Commission. European Parliament (2016). Labour Market Integration of Refugees: Strategies and good practices. Brussels: European Parliament. Available at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/578956/IPOL_STU(2016)578956_EN.pdf [accessed January 18th 2018]. Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E./Loescher, G./Long, K./Sigona, N. (Ed.) (2016a). The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E./Loescher, G./Long, K./Sigona, N. (2016b). Introduction: Refugee and forced migration studies in transition. In E. Fiddian-Qasmiyeh/G. Loescher/K. Long/N. Sigona (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (pp. 1-19). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gag, M./McGill, P./Norstrom, E./Omodeo, M./ Pretty, S. J./ Schroder, M./Seukwa, L. H./Zaccai, C. (2013). Lessons learned: Recommendations on the European level and conclusive remarks. In L. H. Seukwa (Ed.), Integration of Refugees into the European Education and Labour Market. Requirements for a Target Group Oriented Approach (pp. 285-291). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. Mayring, P. (2014). Qualitative content analysis: theoretical foundation, basic procedures and software solution. Klagenfurt. Available at: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-395173 [accessed January 23th 2018]. O’Connor, G. (1988). Case management: System and practice. Social Casework, 69 (2), pp. 97-106. Seukwa, L. H. (2013). General introduction. In L. H. Seukwa (Ed.), Integration of Refugees into the European Education and Labour Market. Requirements for a Target Group Oriented Approach (pp. 7-16). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. Yin, R. K. (1984). Case study research: Design and methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Zetter, R. (2014): Protecting Forced Migrants. A State of the Art Report of Concepts, Challenges and Ways Forward. Bern: Federal Commission on Migration.
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