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Title: The Education and training role of refugee community organisations : activities, outcomes and opportunity structures
Author: Clarke , Jennifer Helen
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2013
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It has been estimated that there may be approximately 1,000 'refugee community organisations' (RCOs) in the UK. Recent surveys have suggested that over half are involved in activities to support refugees' education and training. Although this work is relevant to several current debates, it has been Little researched to date. This study therefore makes an original contribution to knowledge in the following four respects: i) through assessing the range of education and training activities conducted by RCOs in two cities in the UK, and the characteristics of the organisations that conduct, them; ii) through exploring the education and training role of RCOs in terms of its influences on refugees' capabilities and iii) in terms of its influences on refugees' integration and iv) through exploring how wider socio-political factors affect the education and training role of RCOs, including through a cross-national comparative analysis. The study adopts a mixed research strategy. In phase I, a survey is conducted of 25 RCOs active in education and training. in two contrasting cities of refugee settlement, London and Leeds. In phase 2, the outcomes of nine case study RCO education and training activities are explored, primarily through semi-structured interviews with a total of 71 individual learners. In phase 3, the opportunity structure for the involvement of RCOs in education and training is explored from a comparative perspective with contrasting contexts in the Netherlands and Greece. RCOs in both UK cities are found to conduct a wide range of education and training activities. The majority of participants in such activities interviewed perceived that their involvement affects them positively in a range of ways which can be interpreted as both building their capabilities and contributing to their integration. The findings challenge the frequently narrow conceptualisation’s of RCOs, and a wider perspective is proposed which accommodates their hybrid nature as both social networks and established organisations. Such significant involvement of RCOs in education and training is not found in the other two countries, and is interpreted as being linked to the legacy of the multicultural framework and to the highly-developed community and voluntary sector in the UK. Furthermore, the study shines a spotlight on the complex processes of both capability development and integration, by linking individual-level empirical data to the respective theoretical conceptualisations. In doing so, it makes a contribution to substantialising these two important but potentially nebulous concepts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available