Accepted paper:

Navigating Migration Infrastructures: Challenges for Refugee Students at European Universities

Authors:

Katrin Sontag (University of Basel)

Paper short abstract:

This paper focuses on three fields of migration infrastructure which university students who are refugees or asylum seekers have to navigate: the educational institutions, government agencies, and the new NGOs and volunteer initiatives that have evolved since 2015.

Paper long abstract:

When thinking of highly skilled migrants usually migrants supported by companies or universities come to mind. However, there are of course also highly skilled people who come as refugees and who meet with a different set of migration infrastructures. This paper explores migration infrastructures for university students who are asylum seekers or refugees. These can be grouped into the field of educational institutions, the field of government agencies dealing with asylum policies, and NGO- and volunteer organizations, which have developed especially since 2015. The paper is based on a research project in which interviews were conducted with representatives of these three fields in three towns in Germany, France and Switzerland. Further interviews were conducted with the students themselves in order to learn about their perspective and the possibilities and challenges they face when navigating these three fields and coming to terms with their new living situation. In a comparison between the three towns, the paper will present the perspectives of these different sets of migration infrastructure, their ways of operating and also the ways in which they interact, percieve continuities and inconsistencies, and trace how this migration infrastructure has evolved and developed - in very different ways in the three cities since 2015.

panel P085
Engineering mobilities: exploring the infrastructures mediating transnational highly-skilled migration [ANTHROMOB] [Traditional panel]