Strengthening Local Education Systems for Newly Arrived Adults and Children

Empowering Cities through Better Use of EU Instruments
Brian Salant, Meghan Benton | Migration Policy Institute Europe | 2017
Strengthening Local Education Systems for Newly Arrived Adults and Children

The Scoping Paper, commissioned by the Partnership on the Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees and provided by the MPI Europe, examines challenges and bottlenecks cities in the EU face when helping new arrivals access education and training.

Helping newcomers settle in and thrive through education is critical to reducing strains on local services, fostering social cohesion, and strengthening the local economy. But cities only have competence over lim - ited areas of education policy, leaving many unable to respond quickly to rapid population changes or make structural changes—such as to teacher recruitment and training—to adapt to the needs of diverse populations. This lack of flexibility has become both more apparent and more pressing as localities address the changes brought by the 2014–15 migration and refugee crisis. Many cities are facing significant capacity and infra - structure challenges associated with large-scale arrivals, from children arriving midway through the school year to oversubscribed language programmes. Other municipalities are struggling to stretch budgets that were established on the basis of population figures that are routinely out of date. (...)

In theory, the European level could both help mitigate these multilevel governance challenges (for instance by addressing bottlenecks in local services) and scale what works. Indeed, the European institutions offer a host of programmes for funding, sharing of best practices, and disseminating training. However, a number of barri - ers hinder smooth cooperation between the European and the local level (...)


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