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Research Intelligence

Winter 2023/24

Research Intelligence issue 157: Research & practice on migration & education across the four nations of the UK

Research & practice on migration & education across the four nations of the UK

Research Intelligence issue 157

Data from the Migration Observatory (2022a, 2022b) reveal the prevalence of migration among school and university populations in the UK: almost 900,000 UK-resident children were born abroad, a quarter of under-18s have a foreign-born parent, and over a fifth of university students are non-UK citizens.

Educational research has been responsive to issues of migration in England, but there is more limited coverage of the migration experience in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Furthermore, a focus on English language acquisition – while undoubtedly important – has at times obscured an understanding of issues associated with curriculum and knowledge construction, relational processes, and political and material realities.

This issue of Research Intelligence, guest edited by Helen Hanna and Rebecca Loader, aims to enhance understanding of this complex field with varied perspectives from scholars based in the four nations of the UK.

Contributions to this issue:

  • Rebecca Loader, Joanne Hughes, Erika Jiménez and Aisling O’Boyle consider how schools in Northern Ireland perceive and use migrant parents’ knowledge resources.

  • Maria Stewart finds that children largely value and enjoy acting as ‘language brokers’ between schools, families and peers, but she advocates greater regulation to minimise any negative impact.

  • Dina Zoe Belluigi and Yvonne Moynihan’s survey of academic research in Northern Ireland finds that the continued dominance of conflict-related study marginalises research concerning ethnic minority and migrant populations.

  • Turning to Wales, Laura Shobiye shines a spotlight on the social learning experiences of mothers seeking sanctuary, exploring the intersections of racialisation, immigration status, gender and motherhood within the asylum system.

  • In Scotland, Marina Shapira, Mark Priestley, Tracey Peace-Hughes, Camilla Barnett and Michelle Ritchie consider the influence of the Curriculum for Excellence on immigrant pupils’ outcomes.

  • Munther Nouraldeen, Ines Alves and Marta Moskal explore engagement between schools and Syrian refugee families in Glasgow.

  • Eva Hanna explores how university tutors seek to reduce English language barriers to university entrance while operating within the constraints of government and institutional policy.

  • In England, Holly Bennion uses the lens of inclusion to explore primary school children’s perspectives of school life in the north-east.

  • Focusing on Chinese heritage children and their families in Manchester, Choen Yin (Helen) Chan explores the ‘shaping influence’ of intergenerational relationships on young people’s education.

  • M. Murat Erguvan and Helen Hanna examine access for displaced postgraduate students in higher education.

Elsewhere in this issue:

  • We share highlights from BERA Annual Conference 2023, including key statistics and photographs from the keynote, plenary and parallel sessions, as well as the networking events.
  • The 2023 John Nisbet Fellow, Anna Vignoles, identifies the disparity in outcomes between affluent and disadvantaged students and reflects on narrowing this achievement gap.

  • Patricia Marybelle Davies investigates secondary school teaching methods in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

  • Julia Everitt reflects on the value of professional associations in becoming an early career researcher and to the ‘hybrid’ and ‘hidden’ curriculum of doctoral education.

Guest Editors

Profile picture of Helen Hanna
Helen Hanna, Dr

Lecturer at University of Manchester

Dr Helen Hanna is a Lecturer in International Education at the University of Manchester. She is passionate about citizenship education, education rights, and educational inclusion, particularly of migrant learners and those from racial, ethnic...

Profile picture of Rebecca Loader
Rebecca Loader, Dr

Research Fellow at Queen's University Belfast

Rebecca Loader is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Shared Education at Queen’s University Belfast. Her research interests include Education and Peacebuilding, Educational Inequalities and Minority Groups in Education. In September 2021 she...