Education and Workforce Opportunities for Refugees and Migrants




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Dec 06, 2019
by Claire Kidwell
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Education and Workforce Opportunities for Refugees and Migrants

Latest Salzburg Global program will see participants discuss the educational needs of refugee and migrant children and ways to help them thrive in their communities Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

Global migration levels are higher now than ever before, and there are more forcibly displaced people globally at any time since the end of the Second World War. Children make up more than half of this number.

The education and assessment needs of refugee and migrant children are complex and can differ enormously. In many cases, education policy and practice can further hinder the chances for young refugees and migrants to acquire the education and qualifications that they will need to thrive in the communities where they reside and in the world.

Between December 8 and December 13, experts, policymakers, and practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds will convene at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria, for the Salzburg Global Seminar program Education and Workforce Opportunities for Refugees and Migrants.

Salzburg Global is hosting the program in partnership with ETS, Microsoft, Qatar Foundation International, Porticus, and – for the first time – the LEGO Foundation.

Participants will build on the 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report and Salzburg Global’s recent work on social and emotional learning (SEL) and multilingualism. This group of change-makers will work together to develop recommendations that can create better education outcomes and life chances for both refugees and displaced people and their host communities.

Within the broader scope of education for migrants and refugees, participants will evaluate the opportunities and challenges through an interconnecting lens of SEL, language policy, and technological innovation.

Salzburg Global is delighted to welcome back several Fellows for the upcoming program, as well as representatives from Karanga: The Global Alliance for SEL and Life Skills – an alliance established at a previous Salzburg Global program.

Dominic Regester, the program director at Salzburg Global responsible for programs on education, sustainability, and innovation, said, “A lot of funding for education programs for refugees and migrants focuses primarily on access. While this is crucial, we hope that by focusing on SEL and language policy, this program will be able to make a meaningful contribution to new thinking around what constitutes quality education in contexts of displacement."

The program will involve presentations, curated conversations, opportunities for networking, knowledge exchange, and group work to facilitate learning opportunities across silos.

Participants will work toward advancing greater advocacy, online engagement, and multimedia outreach. A report reflecting on the impact of the program will also be published at a later date.

During the program, participants will address the following key questions:

  • How can learning environments help mitigate and reverse the effects of stress and trauma on students?
  • What scalable and transferable teacher training approaches can help educators develop safe and inclusive classrooms?
  • How can technological and policy solutions help address challenges around the recognition of refugee and migrant education credentials?
  • How can education assessment, research, and interventions increase life chances for refugees, displaced peoples, and their host communities?
  • What can be done to ensure that multilingualism is seen as contributing positively to communities and societies?
  • How can social and emotional learning help to foster a sense of connectedness, solidarity, and cohesion between migrants and host communities?
  • After the 2018 Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Safe Orderly and Regular Migration, where are the early examples of international best practice, and how can they be replicated?

The Salzburg Global Seminar Program, Education and Workforce Opportunities for Refugees and Migrants, is part of the Education for Tomorrow’s World multi-year series. The program is held in partnership with ETS, Microsoft, Qatar Foundation International, Porticus, and the LEGO Foundation.