In the 21st century, migration processes increasingly contribute to shaping societal contexts. At the same time, the presence of migrants, who bring new knowledge, experiences, languages and different perspectives to these contexts, emphasizes the relevance of (approaches to) intercultural relations and communication. Moreover, and along with increasingly accelerating tendencies of globalization, migration contests concepts of the nation state and territorial borders and directs attention to questions of social justice and human rights, conflict and reconciliation. It also leads to the emergence of new concepts of identity, new social and cultural practices, and transnational social spaces. Against this backdrop, it becomes evident that answers to policy questions linked to phenomena as diverse as voluntary and forced migration, internal displacement and transcontinental movements, regular and irregular border crossings, unskilled labour and brain circulation need differentiated investigation as well as complex negotiation. The 2015 developments in the EU demonstrate the need to find new responses on the local, national, European and global level.
As a multi-perspectival study programme in migration studies, EMMIR responds to these challenges and opportunities by providing state of the art education in theoretical concepts, empirical and hermeneutic methods plus issue-based transdisciplinary approaches to migration and inter/transculturality. The programme, unique in combining the expertise of African and European universities, strongly encourages students to critically evaluate and, in doing so, to enrich the existing body of knowledge, concepts, theories and terminologies. Students experience the benefits and the challenges of an international learner group where diverse backgrounds of students and teachers offer innovative perspectives for the study of migration.
Incorporating expertise from migration studies and from a variety of intersecting fields, such as gender studies, cultural studies, education and development studies, EMMIR is jointly run by a consortium of seven African and European universities: Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg, Germany (coordinating), Ahfad University for Women, Omdurman, Sudan, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda, University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia, University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, University of Stavanger, Norway, and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Moreover, the programme is embedded in a wide network of associated partners and potential employers for graduates, including, e.g., inter/national GOs and NGOs as well as professionals in the private and the public sector.
Degree and Qualification
The programme is fully accredited since 2013; EMMIR graduates are awarded a joint degree. They will have gained profound (theoretical and methodological) knowledge in the field of migration studies, complemented by in-depth expertise depending on their specific disciplinary perspective and their focused area of migration. Moreover, graduates will have been exposed to a specific labour market segment including specific experiences in a project-based manner and will also be able to actively link the study programme and their specific specialisation to the working world. This will allow EMMIR graduates to work in academic and non-academic environments. To be more precise, being well equipped with the expertise and skills to present and negotiate, to manage and to cooperate, and to conceptualise and evaluate in a critical and self-reflective manner, graduates will be able to pursue doctoral studies in the field of migration studies and to work, e.g., with national and international governmental and non-governmental institutions dealing with migration, inter/transcultural competence and education, namely intersecting with development issues and/or gender issues.
Student mobility is one of the programme’s crucial features. The two-year programme begins in Oldenburg, Germany. In the second semester, all students move to Stavanger, Norway. In the third semester, students attend the partner university of their choice, linked to their project-based internship. Before the final semester, a joint proposal colloquium leads to the formation of supervision groups continuing in the fourth semester in order to support the research and thesis writing.
Programme Objectives and Learning Outcomes
In order to train for self-motivation and problem-solving skills, the didactics of EMMIR are built around the idea that young professionals need state of the art, in-depth-knowledge in their field plus the tools to present and negotiate, to apply and to conceptualize, to cooperate, administrate and to manage. In cooperation with numerous actors and institutions in the field, students will probe themselves in specific labour market segments, thus actively linking the contents and goals of the study programme to potential professional specialisations. Accordingly, the catalogue of EMMIR learning outcomes combines academic skills and core competences specific to migration studies and inter/transcultural studies with horizontal skills including professional tools required in the labour market segments graduates seek employment in. The crosscutting aim of all EMMIR learning outcomes is to impact metacognitive problem-solving skills connected to a critical efficacy belief and the ability of bi- or multidirectional knowledge transfers including acknowledgement of ethic responsibilities. In order to achieve its learning outcomes, EMMIR applies reflexive didactics following clear qualification objectives.
Profile and Programme Foci
The programme thematises approaches to migration and intercultural relations in a range of different geographical and historical contexts, particularly focusing on gender, diversity and intersectionality; development, conflict and justice; representation, power relations and knowledge production; education and citizenship. A key element with regard to the sustainability of learning in EMMIR is the programme’s focus on the composition of specialisation profiles. Taking into account the students’ individual prior educational and professional experiences as well as their individual competences e.g. regarding language proficiency, it encourages all students to opt for and to pursue a study track based on their thematic, disciplinary and geographical interests, which is geared towards a future career or employment. Working on the topics of migration and inter/transcultural relations, the students are continuously supported in specifying their profile regarding (disciplinary and transdisciplinary) theories, (qualitative and quantitative) methods and methodologies and their language proficiency, complemented by horizontal skills as per the learning outcomes. This refinement of students’ profiles is supposed to create a comprehensible and sustainable link between prior academic socialization and future career goals, also by means of student mobility, which opens up new perspectives and, at the same time, allows for further specialisation. Against this backdrop, the graduates’ individual profiles can be understood as well-balanced combinations of vertical skills (specialist expertise and knowledge as well as specific work experience) and horizontal skills (work techniques, presentation and language skills, inter/transcultural competencies).
The programme builds upon a first degree such as a Bachelor’s degree (or an equivalent qualification) in a field related to migration studies: e.g. Social Sciences, History, Cultural Studies, Educational Sciences, Law, Economics, Development Studies and Journalism. In addition, applicants are requested to document English proficiency at C1 level and, if English is their first language, proficiency in a second language.