How to best integrate refugees, based on their competences and qualifications, into the academic environment? The “CoLAB Toolkit”, recently published by the Council of Europe, includes the lessons learned from the project CoLAB implemented in five higher education institutions in 2018-2019.
The CoLAB project funded by the European Union/Council of Europe Joint Programme “Democratic and Inclusive School Culture in Operation (DISCO)” aimed at promoting inclusive practices in European academic institutions to enhance understanding and respect towards refugees.
28 refugees from 14 different countries participated in the CoLAB project and were offered opportunities to be hired as visiting experts or teaching staff in the participating institutions based in four countries (Belgium, France, Italy and United Kingdom).
As a result of the project, students have shown increased knowledge and understanding by engaging with refugee tutors and their viewpoints. Refugee tutors felt more included in their host societies and revealed that their sense of self-worth had increased.
The toolkit provides guidance on topics such as coordination, recruitment and preparation of lessons, communication and teaching activities. Recommendations regarding each topic are also put forward.
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