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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

Moskal, M. & North, A. (2017). Equity in education for/ with refugees and migrants – towards a solidarity promoting interculturalism. European Education 49(2-3): 105-113.

Author(s) from Durham


This special issue brings to the forefront the complex educational challenges faced by migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. It focuses on different ways of understanding equity in relation to education for/with refugees and migrants. The core articles gathered for the special issue originate from the Comparative Education Society in Europe (CESE) conference on the theme of “Equity in and Through Education” held in Glasgow, UK, between May 31 and June 3, 2016. Thus, the special issue addresses the question of equity in diverse local, national, and transnational contexts and from an interdisciplinary approach.
Recently many countries associated with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), especially in Europe, have seen a sharp increase in the number of migrants entering their territories—including unprecedented numbers of asylum seekers and children. An estimated 5 million permanent migrants arrived to OECD countries in 2015Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (2015). Immigrant students at school: Easing the journey towards integration. Paris, France: OECD Publishing. [Google Scholar], an increase of about 20% relative to 2014, with family reunification and free movement accounting each for about one-third of these permanent entries (OECD, 2015Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (2015). Immigrant students at school: Easing the journey towards integration. Paris, France: OECD Publishing. [Google Scholar]; OECD, 2016Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (2016). International migration outlook 2016. Paris, France: OECD Publishing. [Google Scholar]). In the light of current refugee crises in Europe, concerns with the equity of education have gained even more importance, because these crises challenge national education systems in Europe and beyond Europe (Kotthoff, 2016Kotthoff, H.-G. (2016). Welcome to CESE 2016. Glasgow, UK: CESE. [Google Scholar]). At the same time, increased migration poses new challenges for social cohesion in some countries. Fair and inclusive education for migrants and minorities is a key to these challenges, as their personal and social circumstances are often obstacles to achieving educational potential. Equity in education enhances social cohesion and trust (OECD, 2008Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (2008). Ten steps to equity in education. OECD policy brief. Retrieved from [Google Scholar]).
Questions about the integration of refugees and migrants and their children into society, education, and work are now slowly appearing on policy agendas (Crul, Keskiner, Schneider, Lelie, & Ghaeminia, 2017Crul, M., Keskiner, E., Schneider, J., Lelie, F., & Ghaeminia, S.(2017). No lost generation? Education for refugee children. A comparison between Germany, the Nederland and Turkey. In R.Bauböck & M. Tripkovic (Eds.), The integration of migrants and refugees. An EUI Forum on migration, citizenship and demography (pp. 62–79). Florence, Italy: European University Institute. [Google Scholar]). Drawing on the general question from the CESE 2016 conference, the special issue considers specifically how education systems and processes can be fair and inclusive in terms of access, experience, and outcomes for migrant and refugee students.
This special issue looks at the ways of understanding and improving educational equity through two particular themes: teaching and learning with/of refugees, migrants, and forcefully immobile; and migrant children, youth, and adults’ inclusion/exclusion in education. The special issue’s contributions come at equity in education from different angles, and from the perspective of different stakeholders, including refugee and migrant learners, teachers and school managers, and policymakers. All the articles are concerned with issues of solidarity, togetherness, and human connectedness, providing and receiving recognition within involuntary and voluntary mobility/immobility contexts.

School of Education