After the arrival of hundreds of thousands refugees in the past two years, Europe is now faced with the task to integrate those refugee immigrants with a legal title to stay. In main entry countries (Greece, Italy) and major host countries (Germany, Austria, France) there are a number of different educational offers in place which aim at easing immigrants’ pathways to integration into the labour market and society in large:
vocational qualification assessment programmes, language courses, European value and integration courses, general labour market qualification, orientation and insertion programmes, informal counselling and support centres, refugee volunteering schemes. They all aim at increasing the competence of refugee immigrants to integrate into the European host societies. But there is no common, precise and operationalized definition of this “integration competence”. Nor are the effectiveness of the integration programmes measured or their impact on the individual integration competence assessed.
This is the starting point of VIC, which aims to
- Collect the varying objectives of integration programmes across Europe and distil from them an operational working definition of “integration competence”;
- Provide adult educators working with refugee immigrants with tools to promote, plan, actively develop and validate integration competences among the target group;
- Implement these tools in various different types of educational programmes as listed above;
- Carefully evaluate their feasibility, adequacy and impact.
A competence validation approach will be developed for the target group of refugee immigrants. It can be a valuable contribution to the self-assessment and further individual competence development of refugee immigrants. The identification and recognition of competencies acquired in different types of integration measures help refugees to reflect on their competences in terms of integrating into the society and being an active citizen.
Through the VIC system, refugee immigrants will receive more systematic and better support of their integration competence development, and a certification which may help in the labour market on the one hand, and certainly boost their confidence and motivation for integration on the other hand.
VIC does not only create added value for the refugee immigrants. In addition, adult education providers, state agencies and NGOs doing educational work with the refugees will get an assessment methodology which makes the impact of their programmes visible and thus helps to account for efficient spending of taxpayers’ and money and private donations. Outcomes of the validation can also be used to make existing integration measures more suitable in order to promote the integration process in an optimal way.
VIC is coordinated by the DVV – Deutscher Volkshochschulverband and will be implemented by a consortium of six partners from five European countries: DE, IT, GR, FR and AT.
- Co-funded by Ersamus+
- 12/2017 – 11/2019
- project website: https://integrationcompetence.eu/