Experts from each of the three countries of the ‘TEAMS’ research project, Scotland, Finland and Sweden, gave an overview of the education of young migrant students of secondary school age, in their country, and this was followed by an opportunity for open discussion.
We were able to gain a cross-country perspective on the context and challenges faced by schools in these different nations, as they address the issues of education, care and wellbeing, emerging in schools, in the light of the recent increase in the numbers of migrant, refugee or asylum-seeker students.
This seminar was of interest to a broad range of people, including researchers, teachers, policy makers, and family members.
Speakers at this event included: Dr. Helen Packwood, University of Edinburgh; Professor Mirja Tarnanen and Eveliina Manninen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland; and Professor Nihad Bunar, University of Stockholm, Sweden.
Helen is a lecturer in Social Policy and Social Research Methods at the University of Edinburgh. She is also part of the staff team at the Research Training Centre in the School of Social and Political Science. Her research focuses on two key areas of social policy analysis – education and migration. Helen has considerable expertise in mixed methods research and in linking administrative and census data to examine ethnic and migrant inequalities in educational outcomes. Her research is longitudinal and combines quantitative and qualitative data to shed light on the (re)production of educational inequalities. In addition to her academic roles, Helen has worked within local and national government as a researcher and also has front line experience teaching in secondary and tertiary education settings.
Helen sits on the Advisory Board of the TEAMS project and is involved with several research projects including one exploring crisis-resilient childcare systems in times of COVID-19.
Mirja is professor in the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Her research has focused on (multi)literacy and assessment practices across curriculum and educational levels, migrants in professional and educational communities, policies and practices in second language teaching, promoting multilingualism in schools and curriculum reforms in teacher education.
Eveliina is a PhD researcher and project researcher in the Department of Education at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education and she has worked as a teacher in a primary school. Her research interests lie in integration as a two way process along with agency, belonging and otherness in the school context.
Nihad is a professor at Department of Special Pedagogy, Stockholm University, Sweden. His main field of research is education and migration and inclusion of newly arrived migrant students in schools. He has an extensive publication track record in Swedish and English. Nihad worked as an elementary school teacher and as a language support teacher for newly arrived refugee students in the middle of the 1990s. Recently, he served as a special investigator for Swedish government writing a law proposal on the use of first language and language support teachers for migrant children. Currently he serves as a vice-chairman of the scientific committee for the Swedish institute for school research and as a member of the steering board for the Swedish public tv-company (UR).
Nihad has also worked as an expert and advisor for the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE); Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on preparing training manual for education of refugee and asylum-seeking students; European Commission, DG Education and Culture; Network of Experts on Social Aspects of Education and Training etc.