MedHub workshop in Portugal focuses on Migrants and Migration

The workshop took place on 3rd and 4th July 2019 in Madeira (Portugal) with the focus on Euro-Mediterranean area and migration. The workshop was requisitioning the issues of migrations and position of migrants, how the migration from the Euro-Mediterranean region is perceived and incorporated in University curricula in European universities, how is the access of the migrants from the Euro-Mediterranean region to higher education in European Universities, which are the existing policies regarding migrant participation in tertiary education, how to teach and research migration studies from Euro-Mediterranean areas in interdisciplinary perspective.

The speakers contributed to the discussion were following:

Elsa Fernandes, Vice-rector of University of Madeira (Portugal), Mateja Sedmak, Science and Research Centre Koper (Slovenia), Gilda Esposito, University of Firenze, (Italy), Markus Meckl, University of Akureyri (Iceland), Sofia Kasola, The Aristotelio University of Thessaloniki (Greece), Luísa Antunes Paolinelli, University of Madeira (Portugal), Cinzia Laurelli Armes Progetti (Italy), Giovanna del Gobbo University of Firenze (Italy), Barbara Gornik, Science and Research Centre Koper (Slovenia), Elsa Fernandes, Vice-rector of University of Madeira (Portugal), Alcina Sousa, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Madeira (Portugal), Teresa Norton Dias, University of Madeira (Portugal), Luciano Lombardi, Conservatory of Arts of Madeira (Portugal), José Eduardo Franco, Universidade Aberta (Portugal), Evrinomy Avdi, The Aristotelio University of Thessaloniki (Greece)

 The policy findings/recommendation of workshop:

  • Shift to positive human capital approach is needed: EU can benefit from young people, migrants from Euro-Mediterranean countries are important contribution and human capital (knowledge, skills, anti-gentrification)
  • The shift from human rights to social, cultural and economic rights of migrants from Euro-Mediterranean countries is needed.
  • The emphasize on the rise of social responsibility on human mobility.
  • Engagement of international, national and local community/policy.
  • The discussion about migrant students is not (only) the discussion about the inclusion in University, but about dialogue, exchange and interaction and it must be incorporated in the policy as such.

The curricula and university organization findings/recommendation of workshop:

  • Social responsibility of universities: – importance to define a socially responsible university
  • Elaborate manifesto/guidelines for promoting and making visible university social responsibilities in the field of higher education
  • Mainstream education: intercultural issues need to be involved in the curriculum
  • It is important to connect universities with other education levels (high school etc.)
  • Important to address the gap in knowledge of (migrant) students
  • Consider migrant’ students’ legal status
  • Development of additional services for migrant students
  • Development of tutorial system for migrant children
  • Ensure full participation in student life for migrant students (students must feel part of the student community)
  • Existing practices show that migrant students are more motivated and determinate – take benefit of it.
  • Good practice: center for the integration of migrant students within universities can be establish
  • Establishment of career services after graduation for migrant students
  • Intercultural university environments are beneficial: better research, better teaching; cultural variety is improving student and teacher’s performance.
  • The existing Erasmus student system prove that solutions for better inclusion of migrant students is possible. The challenge of present time is: how to include/integrate refugee students. The universities can benefit from existing Erasmus student mobility system experiences.
  • More positive and diversified approach toward migration and presentation of migrants in curricula is needed