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17 January 2017

Cities' actions for the education of refugees and asylum seekers


Most European cities have been involved in the provision of education for migrants and people with a migrant background for a number of years, but the current volume of new arrivals presents a number of new and specific challenges. Ensuring access to education to children of asylum seekers and refugees as well as unaccompanied minors is one of the main ones. With this report, EUROCITIES presents some of the practices and policies being implemented.

Based on the responses from 26 cities submitted until September 2016, key findings include:

  • Many cities have specific plans that focus on education for the integration of migrants and in many cases, these were put in place before the refugee crisis. However, most have adapted or are in the process of adapting their strategies to respond to this new challenge.
  • Cities have a key role to play in coordinating the activities of different stakeholders (training institutions, government agencies, private schools, etc.) which interact at local level but often do not cooperate sufficiently if there is no involvement from city administrations.
  • Cities that have experienced an increase in the number of newcomers have introduced new (language) classes and hired additional educational staff. NGOs and volunteers are also involved in the integration and education of refugees in most cases.
  • The same conditions are applicable to all young people wishing to access vocational training and apprenticeships in many cities, regardless of legal status. However, the degree of collaboration with tertiary education institutions varies significantly across the spectrum of European cities which nevertheless try to facilitate the access for asylum seekers and refugees, often working in partnership with universities and higher education institutions. This is despite the fact that cities often do not hold the competences for tertiary education or the recognition of prior learning. 
Eurocities Education Report
(278.18 KB - PDF)


Geographic area
EU Wide
Contributor type
Local governmental actor
Original source
Posted by
Thomas Huddleston

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