Erasmus+ helping refugees: results of an education survey

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A recent survey by the European Commission shows a number of initiatives carried out by organisations working in school education, VET (vocational education and training) and adult learning to support the integration of refugees.

There is a widespread agreement in Europe over education's crucial role in helping migrants and refugees settle in new countries and environments. The influx of migrant and refugee population may still represent a challenge for schools and educators. However, it also offers an opportunity to schools that have one more reason to work on cultural diversity and develop projects fostering tolerance and inclusion. Supporting Member States' efforts to integrate refugees in Europe's education systems and ensure their skills development is an urgent task in the light of the current migration crisis. Many initiatives to this end are already taking place in EU countries.

In November 2015 the European Commission addressed a survey to school education, VET, and adult learning organisations to compile good practices on the integration of refugees and the challenges the organisations have encountered. A full report summarising challenges, ideas and good practices, including ongoing projects, is available based on input from 256 respondents, as well as an extract of the report focussing on school education.

The collected responses are separated into the following areas: language learning; intercultural learning; acquisition of skills; integration in education and training institutions, labour market and society; recognition of skills and competences; career guidance; personal, psychological and general support; and support to teachers and educators.

The report includes several inspirational examples, including strategic guidelines for the inclusion of refugees in Scotland, a friendship programme for young refugees and high schoolers in Finland, ad hoc curriculum planning to address refugees’ needs and to raise cultural awareness and intercultural learning, and ongoing Erasmus+ projects fostering understanding among students of the reasons for and challenges of refugees.