January 2022 Edition
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IMMERSE Newsletter 06.

October 2021

If you want to keep up to date about the IMMERSE project and receive our Newsletter:

IMMERSE hub: new educational resources to promote integration in schools are now available

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The IMMERSE HUB makes available to teachers and education professionals working with children a growing bank of educational free access resources in seven languages. These resources consist of workshop ideas, classroom activities, lesson plans and academic articles covering different aspects of migration with the aim of promoting integration in schools.

To access the educational resources, follow these steps:

1. REGISTER IN THE IMMERSE hub.
You can register by clicking on the 'register' button, where you can enter your name, email and password.
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2. JOIN THE "EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES" GROUP IN YOUR LANGUAGE
You have 7 languages to choose from: English, Spanish, Italian, French, Dutch, Greek or German. Find yours in the "Groups" section and click "Join".
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3. EXPLORE ON THE GROUP'S WALL
Within each group, in the “Wall” section, which opens by default, there is a description of the educational resources available to the user in the selected language.
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4. DOWNLOAD THE RESOURCES
Once you have found the ones you are interested in, click on the "activity" section, and find the publication where the file was uploaded. When you find it, click on "Download File" and enjoy the resource!
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The aim of the Hub is to create a community of experts across Europe and to serve as a platform for sharing knowledge, experiences and views on migration and integration to contribute to improving the inclusion of migrant and refugee children. The online platform, integrated into the IMMERSE website, is aimed at NGOs, schools, teachers, social workers, policy makers and researchers in the field of integration, education and migration, in order to share data and facts on the main issues related to the integration of these children.

Data collection among migrant and refugee children in Europe, underway

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After the delays due to Covid-19, IMMERSE has entered an exciting new phase of the project - large-scale primary data collection. This phase will lead to a generation and collection of data on refugee and migrant children that will be analysed to help to define a set of guidelines of recommendations to the educational sector and policymakers in a later stage of the project.

Since the completion of the Dashboard on indicators in February 2020, the IMMERSE research and IT partners have been developing the questionnaires and online data collection system through which we are gathering data from thousands of children in our six partner countries (Spain, Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Germany and Greece). In April and May of 2021, four of the research partners were able to conduct pilot tests of the questionnaires and online system with schools through in-person and virtual site visits. Our research partners in Greece and Italy were the first in the field in June 2021 for the main phase of the data collection. With the return of children to classrooms in September 2021, the research team in Ireland started their site visits, and the remaining research partners will begin in October 2021. This phase of primary data collection is expected to run for most of the 2021/22 academic year.
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The data from the IMMERSE questionnaires will be at the heart of the IMMERSE project’s final outputs. The research teams used the qualitative work from the first year of the project and the Dashboard as the foundation for the questionnaires, designing them to capture data on the 30 key indicators of socio-educational integration. The most important data will be gathered from children, for which there are two questionnaires: one for 7–9-year-olds and one for 10-18-year-olds. IMMERSE is also collecting data from the parents of these children, their teachers, and the principals of the participating schools. The questionnaires are available in online and pen-and-paper versions and can be answered in 11 different languages.

The data from these questionnaires will be carefully analysed to form the basis for the final reports and policy recommendations from IMMERSE. The Children’s Research Advisory group for the project will shortly receive capacity building in the form of data analysis training to support this process.

Out the 2nd IMMERSE Working Paper on Intercultural Competences and Multilingualism of refugee and migrant children

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The Report on Intercultural Competences and Multilingualism of refugee and migrant children is the second of a series of working papers by IMMERSE project research teams aimed at identifying indicators of socio-educational integration of these children in their host societies.

IMMERSE research teams in Spain (Universidad Pontificia de Comillas) and Italy (Save the Children Italy) carried out qualitative data collection through sessions involving all stakeholders at the three levels of the integration process: micro (migrant and refugee minors, their families), meso (school managers, teachers, parent associations, migrant and refugee associations, religious associations), and macro (governments, regional authorities, town halls, social services, security officers, refugee centres). Specifically, four workshops were organised with children, divided by age groups (6-9, 10-12, 13-16, 17-18), one with their families, one with professionals of the meso level and interviews with representatives of the macro level in both Spain and Italy.

This second working paper gathers not only the conclusions of the research teams after these sessions, but also the voices and testimonies of the children and those involved in their integration process. The report is available in a short version summarising the key points of the research and a full version, both available in English on the IMMERSE website.

Policy brief addresses how to mitigate the negative effects of COVID-19 on refugee and migrant children

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In their aim to influence key decision-makers in the integration of refugee and migrant children in Europe, the IMMERSE project researchers translate the findings of the analysed data into policy recommendations addressed to policy makers in the countries involved in the partnership.

In this document, Eva Bajo Marcos, Elena Rodríguez-Ventosa Herrera and Yoan Molinero Gerbeau from the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas, address the negative effects that the COVID-19 pandemic crisis has had on a particularly vulnerable group such as the migrant and refugee child population in Europe. The policy brief analyses psychological, socio-economic, educational and legal burdens and consequences imposed to migrant children due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as seven concrete recommended actions to mitigate these impacts.

In the PUBLICATIONS section of the IMMERSE website you can also find the policy brief "A Systemic Approach to Immigrant and Refugee Children Integration" a paper issued at a
very early stage of IMMERSE that offers an overview of migrant and refugee children current situation in the EU to propose, according to the objectives of the project, some incipient policy implications.

Research partners present IMMERSE findings at various conferences and events

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In their aim to contribute to research in the field of integration of migrant and refugee children, IMMERSE's research partners have participated in several conferences where they have presented some of the findings obtained by the project so far. This dissemination and networking activity was certainly affected by restrictions due to the pandemic, which coincided precisely with the stage of producing the first results.

The IMMERSE Consortium participated in the Society for the History of Childhood and Youth (SHCY) XI Biennial International Conference “Challenges, Interruptions and Opportunities”, that took place online in June 2021 and was hosted by the National University of Ireland Galway. The partners presented a the panel "IMMERSE H2020 socio-educational integration of Migrant Children in Education, Research findings from Phase 1 of the study" and four papers: Co-Creation and Participatory Methods in Phase 1 of IMMERSE Research on the Socio Educational Integration of Migrant Children in Europe (UCC), Opportunities and limitations for refugee children’s socio-educational integration in Greece (Panteion), Migrant children integration in Italy: evidences from the IMMERSE research project (Save the Children Italy) and Socioeducational integration of migrant children, intercultural competence and multilingualism: the Spanish case (Comillas).
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At the 18th IMISCOE Annual Conference: Crossing borders, connecting cultures, celebrated online in July, the IMMERSE Consortium presented the panel "Methodological Approaches and Tools in Migration Research" chaired by the Comillas team, and with the collaboration from Micreate and ChildUp providing each one discussant. During the panel the team from the University College Cork presented the paper Constructing the IMMERSE Questionnaires: Balancing Considerations for Digital Data Collection. Panteion partners presented Qualitative research with refugee and migrant children in contexts of difficult access. Save the Children Italy presented the paper Analysing good practices in the field of migrant children social and educational inclusion. Tools and results from the IMMERSE project and Comillas presented Identifying the core indicators of migrant and refugee children’s integration using the Delphi Method: findings of the IMMERSE project.

At this IMISCOE Conference the Comillas team, coordinators of the IMMERSE project, presented two additional papers at different panels: Migrant infancy: opportunities and challenges for well-being and integration in the European context in the Reflexive Migration Studies, and Mental Health of Migrant Children in Europe, challenges and recommendations in the Reflexive Migration Studies.

A Comprehensive Approach to the Study of Socio-Educational Inclusion of Migrant Children in Europe

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The research team from the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas, IMMERSE coordinator, has participated in the publication of the book Migrant Children’s Integration and Education in Europe: Approaches, Methodologies and Policies (2021) with the chapter "A Comprehensive Approach to the Study of Socio-Educational Inclusion of Migrant Children in Europe" (pp. 141-164) in which they present in depth the conceptual framework of the IMMERSE project and its relevance as an innovative approach from which educational practices can be transformed, to ensure the educational success of migrant children in Europe.

The book, which also involved the Horizon 2020 projects CHILD UP and MiCREATE, addresses issues related to the integration and inclusion of migrant children and young people, the various research approaches, the methodological perspectives used by researchers in this field and the effect these approaches have on national and European policies and how they can be improved.

In the PUBLICATIONS section of the IMMERSE website you can find the link to this book as well as to the article published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being (2021) by the Comillas team, The antecedents of well‐being in first‐generation migrant children: A systematic review, in SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS.

IMMERSE Consortium

IMMERSE consortium is formed by eleven partners from six countries:
  • Comillas Pontifical University (Spain)
  • Zabala Innovation Consulting (Spain)
  • INFODEF Institute for the Promotion of Development and Training (Spain)
  • Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations (Spain)
  • Informática el Corte Inglés (Spain)
  • Save the Children Italy (Italy)
  • DOZ e.V. International (Germany)
  • Active Citizen Europe (Belgium)
  • Panteion University of Social and Political Studies (Greece)
  • Regional Directorate of Primary and Secondary Education of Crete (Greece)
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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 745625. The dissemination of results herein reflects only the author’s view and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
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