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Universities on the border: the politics of higher education and migration
This is a zoom broadcast of a live event hosted at the UCD School of Sociology

Only a minority of refugees, whether settled or in transition, access higher education globally. One of the key barriers is caused by hostile immigration policies, in which universities have become complicit. In addition to policing students’ immigration status, universities create their own bureaucratic barriers to refugee students with high costs, complicated admissions and application processes and the burden of proof regarding language competency and previous learning. When we understand bordering as a process we must also look at universities internal practices, pedagogies and learning environments as part of the cultural and social processes that exclude and discriminate students. Universities are politically situated both due to their relationship with the state, and due to their relationships with staff and students. In this talk I will share experiences of teaching refugee students in the Calais Jungle, in community groups in the UK and at the University of East London. I will also draw from the experiences of a European wide Refugee Education Initiatives project which drew participants from Hungary, Germany, Austria and Greece. Some of the key lessons I have drawn while directing refugee access to HE programs include the importance of navigating and resisting bordering policies within institutions and finding ways to resist them in any of our educational spaces; sharing knowledge across the sector; training staff on trauma-based practice and building anti-racism as central component of all education. To increase refugee societal inclusion and access to higher education we must rethink universities and their role in bordering politics. This will lead into universities to becoming more welcoming environments for all students.

Nov 18, 2021 01:00 PM in Dublin

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