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Open Society Foundations and Coventry University
Professor Heaven Crawley and Simon McMahon
Immigration and its implications have long been among the most significant concerns of the British public, dominating the agendas of political parties and covered the pages of the print media. However, since the 2010 General Election a number of organisations have been established with the explicit objective of providing opportunities for migrant communities to engage with the media and contribute to the public and political debate. This project explored the engagement and representation of these migrant voices within the 2015 pre-election debate, asking how the voices and experiences of migrants were represented in media reporting and whether migrants themselves were able to have a say.
This project contributes to a growing literature on how best to establish a balanced media debate on migration. The research found that in order for the migration debate to be more balanced and reflect the lived reality of migrants in Britain, it must include a wider range of evidence, views and perspectives. We found that migrants are only referenced in 15% of newspaper articles on migration and that 85% of articles do not have a migrant perspective. We also found evidence that migrant voices are more likely to be included in stories which tend towards more positive, sympathetic or humanising portrayals of migration and a majority of these presented the migrant as a victim in need of sympathy and support. A narrow view of migrants as victims may reinforce dominant stereotypes in ways that are not helpful in the longer term.
The project was launched at a roundtable debate hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Migration in the Houses of Parliament in February 2016. It was also covered by The Guardian, in an article that can be accessed here.
Collaborate to Train is a three-year project that will engage with over 250 local small businesses and support them to increase their involvement in the education and workforce training system.
Exceed in Coventry is a three-year project providing tailored help and support to over 1,300 Coventry residents, enabling them to progress into education, training, job search or employment.
ConnectMe is a three-year project supporting Coventry’s long term unemployed and economically inactive people. The project aims to make it easier for people who are experiencing barriers to employment to move into education, training or employment.
In July 2015, a legal duty came into force requiring that ‘specified authorities’, including schools and further education colleges, show ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’ – popularly referred to as the ‘Prevent duty’.
The report ‘What the Prevent duty means for schools and colleges in England: An analysis of educationalists’ experiences’, published 2 years after the introduction of the Prevent duty, seeks to get beyond the polarised public debate about the duty to explore the experiences of ‘front line’ education professionals.
Coventry University’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) has been selected to host the headquarters of the prestigious Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) for five years starting in 2018.
The university’s research centre, which is based on its Technology Park and which specialises in trust, peacebuilding and human security, will assume the role of secretariat to ACUNS from next year.