Between recognition and exclusion. Refugee students in higher Education - Austrias MORE-Initiative
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
"Education and Citizenship: Learning and Instruction and the Shaping of Futures". 19th EARLI Biennial Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
Programs like MORE evolved in reaction to the refugee crisis in 2015. Universities organized programs to accommodate asylum seekers and refugees on campus, therefore providing opportunities to take up studies (again). The case of the Austrian MORE initiative is used to discuss what kind of bonds refugee students see between themselves, the universities and the host society and the potentials of higher education and initiatives for refugees in this process. Based on subjective perceptions of recognition within and outside the university solidarity becomes an empirical question.
Building on two main datasets (survey data as well as in depth interviews based on the results of the survey data) it can be stated, that finding places in a new society is a multifaceted process. Refugee students are in danger of not being recognized as their traits and competences fall back behind the attribute of being a refugee. Beside legal restrictions and a lack of resources existing prejudices and a migrant-sceptic surrounding counteract the efforts of the refugee students to become capable of acting in new surroundings.
Against this background the importance of initiatives like MORE in the context of higher education becomes evident. They offer opportunities for some kind of normalization and recognition re-establishing capacities to act for a group of people excluded from diverse opportunities.