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EDUMIGROM — Result In Brief

Project ID: 217384
Funded under: FP7-SSH

Towards better policy for ethnic minority youth

European researchers examined how ethnic differences in education contribute to diverging prospects for minority ethnic youth in multiethnic urban settings. The intention was to better understand how educational systems, policies, practices and experiences across different welfare regimes contribute to processes of 'minoritisation'.
Towards better policy for ethnic minority youth
Funded by the EU, the 'Ethnic differences in education and diverging prospects for urban youth in an enlarged Europe' (EDUMIGROM) project was carried out across three phases, and relied on both quantitative and qualitative research methods. A comprehensive set of objectives focused investigations on ethnic differences in education, how interactions in multiethnic urban communities generate distinctive school practices, and how discourses, patterns and performances of identity formation among young people are shaped by school practices.

In addition, researchers carried out a comparative study on how educational practices and identity formation contribute to claims on citizenship. A last objective was to build on knowledge produced in the above areas to formulate evidence-based policy recommendations aimed at fostering the inclusion of often marginalised ethnic youth in and through education.

Project efforts have generated a wealth of information and advanced knowledge on schools as sites of knowledge distribution and of socialisation, and on experiences of unjust treatment, discrimination and 'othering'. Studies also produced results on identity models and strategies of identity formation, 'ghetto life', ethnic (or religious) pride, exclusion and assimilationism/cosmopolitanism.

Overall, EDUMIGROM research outlines a less-than positive picture of the lives, opportunities and future perspectives of Europe's ethnic minority adolescents. Findings highlight that existing schooling systems serve to maintain and even produce disadvantages in access to quality education. They also tend to devalue their performance on cultural grounds, and as such, hinder their advancement and stymie any prospects for a better future. For example, young people from second-generation migrant and Roma backgrounds are marked with labels that carry negative associations and implications, as a result of their belonging to 'other' settings.

The project's methodologies, approaches, research innovations and comparative lessons can, however, go a long way in developing evidence-based knowledge in critical policy areas. Improvements in educational policy, youth policy, social inclusion and anti-discrimination could positively impact local communities, civil society, academia, the scientific community and the general public. As such, EDUMIGROM’s efforts to have much to offer the policy-making community at country and European levels.

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