Erasmus New Curriculum Development (CD) project 29666-IC-1--2002-1-NO-ERASMUS-PROGUC.
MA MIGRATION AND INTERCULTURAL RELATIONS
A collaborative Master Program for students from Europe and beyond.
"WWW-supported learning in Migration and Intercultural Relations – A joint MA program for collaborative learning and cultural awareness"
The phenomenon of migration is increasingly important in most European countries. The huge emigration movements to the Americas in the 19th century have been followed by migration and flight within Europe in the aftermath of wars, conflicts, and state transformations. Since the second half of the 20th century, migration in its different forms has pervasively shaped European societies. In turn, processes of globalisation, changes in state politics on immigration, employment and welfare, as well as the reformation of the world’s political map have had significant effects on migration strategies.
Recent debates on migration show the need for a critical reflection on the determinants, consequences, and perception of the movement of peoples. Today’s situation cannot be understood without referring to the historical dimension. With migration affecting various fields of the state and the society, it is impossible to investigate the subject within the limits of only one discipline. Similarly, there is a need to develop and use transcultural approaches when addressing the challenges of today.
Scholars of Stavanger (Norway), Oldenburg (Germany), Lisbon (Portugal) and Nova Gorica (Slovenia) Universities have developed a collaborative Master program on Migration – the MA in Migration and Intercultural Relations. The project unites experts in history, political science, sociology and other disciplines, coming from various parts of Europe, who offer their expertise in research and teaching migration in existing national MA programs.
Students have the opportunity to gain knowledge and research experience within the scope of different disciplines, within diverse national contexts.
OBJECTIVES OF THE MA PROGRAM
In the course of the program, students will get insight into theories, empirical studies and interdisciplinary approaches to migration. They will be strongly encouraged to conduct their own research projects through an integrated combination of theoretical and methodological knowledge.
Our aim is to enable students to critically evaluate theories and empirical studies, as well as to get involved in scientific and public debates.
We expect to attract students with different interests and backgrounds – young scholars, employed people, as well as men and women with varied practical experiences, e.g. in the field of social work with migrants/ refugees or in NGOs. A better understanding of migration enriches many areas of work and public debates. In this respect, the MA program can contribute to „life-long learning“ channels to higher degrees. The collaborative institutions aim at awarding program students with both a national degree and a joint degree, to be granted by a joint committee of the partners. This combined degree can open up national and international occupational opportunities.
The two-year MA program will be divided into core modules and optional modules.
At the beginning of the program, students will take the compulsory modules on Historical and contemporary migration processes, Theorising Migration, and Evaluating and Developing Research Methods for Transcultural Contexts. These modules are the responsibility of Oldenburg University, they will be the basis for further study in the program.
The foundational modules will be followed by two optional modules: Migration and small nations: The Slovene case (Slovenia), A Southern European Perspective: The Migratory Phenomenon in Portugal (Portugal), or A Northern European Perspective: The Migratory Phenomenon in Scandinavia/ Norway (Norway). The study program will be completed by one additional module offered by existing national MA programs at the partner universities.
The modules will be jointly produced by the partner universities: Core modules and optional modules are developed according to varied experience of the partners.
An integral part of the program is a project-based internship during the first three semesters of study. Potential assignments can be scientific institutions, NGOs, advisory services for migrants, policy consultancy, journalism or others. Students will be expected to evaluate and reflect on their practical experiences and submit a report.
To obtain the MA degree (national and joint), students have to successfully complete the course curriculum and a written Master’s thesis. Students will be encouraged to design their thesis based on self-conducted research projects, applying and connecting methodological and theoretical approaches.
SPECIAL FEATURES OF THE COURSE
The partner universities will put pool their expert knowledge in the curriculum.
Students are able to study under the guidance of scholars who focus on migration history. Study in this area will include historical knowledge, and historians’ methodology. Long-standing research and teaching experience on emigration processes, settlement and identity formation of both migrants and non-migrants open perspectives to a variety of potential study subjects. A special focus will be the determinants and consequences of migration for „small nations,“ such as Slovenia.
The migration process does not affect men and women equally, either historically or in the modern period. ‘Gender’ as a category will be of great interest for a critical survey of mainstream migration studies, reflecting on their gender sensitivity, and for examining migration processes and structures and their effects on crucial phenomenon such as the nation state, modernity, globalisation, citizenship, modern warfare, societies in transition, and post-colonial studies.
Refugees and their experiences, as well as refugee policy, are often left out of research on migration. The reflection and critical evaluation of both aspects will be addressed in this program.
REALISATION: BLENDED LEARNING
To bridge the geographical distance between the partner universities and to engage in collaborative teaching and learning, the program will make extensive use of information technology and flexibly organised teaching.
A blended learning approach involves face-to-face study as well as e-learning. Our aim of exchanging staff and students both virtually and physically requires a www-supported framework for the permanent active collaboration between the partner universities, and resources for students and teachers to move for temporary study or teaching visits. Information technologies allow the use of each partner university’s educational resources, communication between and among students and teachers, and collaborative research.
International learner groups – people from varied systems of higher education, languages, and biographical contexts – are a challenging experience for the course, offering exciting perspectives for the study of migration itself. English will be the common course language, but teaching will also address and include various languages, so that research results of several regions and different theoretical concepts/ traditions can be incorporated.
First admission of students to the MA program is scheduled for autumn 2006.
The partner universities will work towards extending the MA program: Migration and Intercultural Relations to other European and non-European countries, and to acceptance as an EU Master Course within the Erasmus Mundus program.
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