Migrant Education: Monitoring and Assessment

The study MIGRANT EDUCATION: MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT is an initial attempt to explore the monitoring and assessment of migrant education (MAME) at the state level in Europe. A review of literature indicated the main dimensions of MAME, and these have shaped a questionnaire completed by national experts of 27 EU countries. The Bulgarian national expert is Bistra Ivanova from Multi Kulti Collective. As the report shows, most EU countries have developed, to a greater or lesser extent, educational policies for immigrant children. Yet, this has not yet been accompanied by a comprehensive system of monitoring and assessment. Some countries have made greater efforts than others, in accordance with the relative size of their foreign-born population and, to a lesser extent, the level of integration policies in the realm of education.

– Steps towards monitoring and evaluation of migrant education have been taken in EU Member States – in some more than others – but there is nowhere a comprehensive system of monitoring and assessment.
– Most Member States have developed, to some degree, educational policies for migrant children. The challenges in creating a system to monitor and evaluate the results of these policies should not be underestimated.
– Some Member States have gone further than others, related to the importance of the foreign-born population and, to a lesser extent, to the level of integration policies in the realm of education.
– It is significant that most of the countries in the sample have already developed systems for monitoring and evaluating their own educational system in general. This means that a structure exists, in which the monitoring and evaluation of migrant education could be incorporated.
– Many Member States have decentralised responsibility for education which, taken together with the principle of autonomy in education, means that the comprehensiveness of the results and conclusions of the study can only be qualified.

By way of conclusion, we summarize the main results around four main areas of concern: the objective behind the actual monitoring and assessment, the conceptualisation of “migrant” and its implications for monitoring and assessment, what is actually monitored and assessed, and how and where these monitoring and assessment systems should be implemented.

– The EC should build an agreement between the Member States on a common framework so that monitoring and assessment processes are comparable and cooperation reinforced.
– The EC should adopt an agenda to promote the monitoring and assessment of policies regarding students with a migrant background within Member States.
– The Eurydice agency should monitor the EU strategy to promote monitoring and assessment.
– The Erasmus+ programme should promote an extension of Key Action 3 for a specific plan on peer-review programmes between Member States that includes monitoring and assessment of policies.
– The EC should introduce a specific item in its budget to fund Member States that wish to improve their mechanisms of monitoring and assessment policies related to the education of students with a migrant background.
– The EC should announce a call for research initiatives aimed at filling in the gap on certain topics regarding monitoring and assessing policies addressed at students with a migrant background.

The study also identified actions within the scope of Member States which are noted here:

– Migration policy processes should be based on research evidence.
– Monitoring and assessment processes should be focused on systemic processes that restrict the achievement of migrants in schools.
– In the case of the evaluation of this individual achievement, affirmative action should be discounted.
– In general, Member States should be aware of the diversity of migrants regarding their ethnic background.
– Monitoring and assessment provide knowledge of the current state of policy implementation.
– Member States are responsible for monitoring and assessing policies on migrant education.
– Monitoring and assessment processes should be in the hands of independent researchers, so as to ensure transparency and accountability.
– Member States, through monitoring and assessment, can become aware of the sustainability of good practices for educating students with a migrant background in schools.
– Member States should adopt an intercultural approach when implementing monitoring and assessment processes, since a monocultural approach may introduce a bias that cannot reflect the heterogeneity of the population.
– Member States should promote multi-level monitoring and assessment processes at a national, sub-national and local scale.
– Member States should introduce a collaborative framework rather than a competitive one among schools when monitoring the introduction of innovative practices on migrant education.

Several reports and studies (EC, 2012; OECD, 2006, 2009 and 2012a and Eurostat, 2014) confirm that significant obstacles still exist in the educational pathways of children with a migrant background in the educational systems of the EU Member States. According to Eurydice (2004), monitoring has an important role in reaching European benchmarks on the education and training of young people with a migrant background. For instance, “the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia […], focused its activities in 2003 and 2004 on the discrimination experienced by immigrants in the field of education” (Eurydice, 2004: 13). On the other hand, Eurydice (2009) pointed out that in some regions, monitoring of the current practices is carried out at school level. Comparative analysis reveals a lack of policy monitoring data (EC, 2013b). In light of this situation, the European Parliament decided to commission this study in order to offer an overview of the most recent approaches to monitoring and assessing immigrant children educational policies (MAME) in Europe. By acknowledging that little effort has been made in this direction, this study may represent a first step for the introduction of MAME onto the political agenda of the European Union.

A review of the literature revealed the main dimensions in which educational policies concerning immigrant children are to be assessed and monitored. These revolve around the gathering of information and how impact and outcomes are measured. Several reports have highlighted the importance of mainstreaming monitoring and evaluation, from the first steps in policy design and implementation. A questionnaire for national experts (see Appendix) was designed, based on the literature review. This contains questions devoted to contextualising each country, offering an overview of the governance of educational policies for immigrant children, and finally to help comprehend the main actions implemented by countries in order to monitor and evaluate such policies at the state level. The questionnaire was implemented by national experts in 27 EU countries. The Bulgarian national expert is Bistra Ivanova from Multi Kulti Collective.

Print ISBN 978-92-846-0382-4
PDF ISBN 978-92-846-0381-7 (read here)

Time frame: January 2016 – February 2017
Partners: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (leading partner) + national experts from EU-27 (Bistra Ivanova from Multi Kulti Collective is the Bulgarian one)
Funding: European Parliament – Tender: “Review and Monitoring of Migrant Education in the EU” (IP/B/CULT/IC/2015-163)