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Integrating Refugee and Asylum-seeking Children in the Educational Systems of EU Member States: Evaluation and Promotion of Current Best Practices
 

 

On September 1, 2010 The Center of the Study of Democracy launched the project Integrating Refugee and Asylum-seeking Children in the Educational Systems of EU Member States: Evaluation and Promotion of Current Best Practices (INTEGRACE). CSD is the coordinator of the project; the partner organisations are The Censis Foundation – Italy, The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights – Austria, The Peace Institute – Slovenia, and The University of Halmstad – Sweden. In addition, a number of individual experts have prepared reviews of best practices in their countries as well as in certain (typically neighboring) countries.

The general objective of INTEGRACE is to promote the educational integration of refugee and asylum seeking children in the EU through developing common standards and sharing of best practices in programme development and evaluation with specific focus on vulnerable groups – victims of crime.

The more specific objectives are:
  • to enhance the effectiveness of policies and programmes for the integration of refugee and asylum-seeking children in the EU;
  • to identify best practices in the integration of refugee and asylum-seeking children in the educational systems of the EU Member States;
  • to establish EU wide standards for the evaluation of initiatives for the integration of refugee children at school
  • to develop analytical tools for impact assessments of programs and policies for the integration of refugee children at school
  • to suggest a common methodology for preparedness programs in countries where the target group is relatively small
  • to establish a network of NGOs and universities promoting the integration of refugee children in the educational systems of EU Member States and researching related issues

The project describes and catalogues best practices in the integration of refugee and asylum-seeking children at schools and involves conducting program evaluations of select initiatives in three Western European EU Member States and impact assessments for their implementation in two Eastern European countries. In cataloguing best practices, the research conducted by the project team, with the help of external experts, encompasses all 26 EU Member States participating in the European Refugee Fund (where eventually it is also hoped that some of the best practices identified will be implemented), as well as Denmark, Norway, and four Western Balkan states at various stages on their way to EU Membership. In countries where best practices are lacking, situation reports are prepared outlining areas that need specific improvement. Moreover, in countries where the target group is small, best practices are considered in the implementation of preparedness initiatives. Specific attention is paid to initiatives aimed at the well-being and integration in education of the most vulnerable groups, including refugee and asylum-seeking children who have been victims of crimes.

The written reviews of best practices in the integration of refugee and asylum-seeking children in each country, of best practices in the design of stress tests referred to above, the situation reports where best practices are scarce, and summaries of the program evaluations and impact assessments, are integrated into a handbook which would serve as a tool for developing a standardized approach to evaluating and assessing the educational integration of refugee children in the EU.

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* Project co-financed under the European Refugee Fund. Sole responsibility lies with the author and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.
 
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