Social Integration of Refugees through Education and Self Employment
Priority AxisTechnological and Social Innovation
University of Greenwich
Project budget4 880 802 €
ERDF amount2 928 481 €
Over 1.2m refugees arrived in Europe in 2016, 147,815 within the 2 Seas region alone (R1) creating pressures and challenges on the host communities. A population surge creating a high costly demand on public purse €10,000p refugee/year to meet the needs of the new arrivals and integrate them into the local economy (R2). The regions struggle with the challenges of refugee family inclusion into education and economic independence exposing a population of lost economic potential. The regional school systems fail to effectively integrate refugee children characterised by missed school years, facing an alien education system and ill-informed teachers. Fragile refugee children find it difficult to integrate into the system, absenteeism is high, parental involvement with school is low. Partner research shows an appetite for refugee enterprise but exposes a gap due to the limitations of partner specialist knowledge and experience to deliver. Actions to JS RBO summarised Section D3.
The project aims to improve the social and economic integration of refugees in the partner regions and wider 2 Sea area by co-creating and introducing new demonstrations to increase the engagement of refugees in the education process and to improve the economic independence of refugees through self-employment. It will tackle the key societal challenge of social exclusion by increasing the access to education and self-employment through the methodology of co-creation. In education 40 new learning communities will be co-created resulting in: 10% increase in parents’ involvement in the education of children, 20% increase in pre-school children attending school, 10% increase in adult education. 450 teachers better equipped to support refugees as a result of the new training course developed. Co-creation will be used to generate 50 new refugee businesses, generate 40 new jobs (with the potential of 516) and 4 new refugee business networks to support long term enterprise development.
- Demonstration actions of how a co-creation model can be used in schools to increase student and parent involvement. It will benefit refugee parents and children from pre-school to secondary school plus adult learners.
- Demonstration teacher training courses focusing on the integration of refugees and/or non guided minors in education using the co-creation model for the benefit of educational professionals.
- Demonstration actions to help refugees valorize their entrepreneurial skills and create a new business for the benefit of refugee entrepreneurs and the municipalities.
- Demonstration guide to the social and economic integration of refugees with recommendations on implementation into education system and developing refugee entrepreneurship, benefitting wider 2 Seas regions.
- Mobile application website for the benefit of refugee entrepreneurs to start a business.
- Refugee business networks benefitting both refugees and municipalities.
Cross border approach
The project builds on expertise which exists in insolation at regional level e.g. LP in entrepreneurship and PP2 in education. It combines strengths at a cross border level and together with the refugee observer partner organisations (OP2, OP3, OP9 and OP11) will create and validate new knowledge in the demonstration models faster than would otherwise occurred or not occurred at all. The scale of this cross border cooperation saves time in recruitment but also increases the impact, transferability and durability of project results. The partnership involves municipalities, universities, private sector, local government and refugee organisations who would not have normally worked together. Cooperation also provides access to a transnational pool of specialist knowledge stretching beyond individual boundaries where a refugee entrepreneur can benefit from access to entrepreneurial experts to solve business problems and advise of best solution at a cross border level, not normally available
VIVES University College
University College Roosevelt
City of Mechelen
Municipality of Middelburg
Knowledge Center ARhus Roeselare
Learning Shop West Flanders
City of Bruges
TERN - The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network
Regional Youth Sports and Social Cohesion Directorate
The Hague Institute for Global Justice
Primary School ‘t Klavertje
The Victory Academy
Archipel Schools Walcheren
Center for the schooling of children new arrivals / children from homeless families / travelers