ReGap – Reducing the Educational Gap for Migrants and Refugees in EU Countries with Highly Relevant e-Learning Resources Offering Strong Social Belonging
Programa Erasmus+, Commissão Europeia
Brit Svoen, Centre for Lifelong Learning, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Noruega
Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Noruega
LUMSA University, Itália
University of Porto, Portugal
Community Development Institute, Macedónia
1-9-2017 – 31-8-2019
The ReGap project aims to extend high quality culturally sensitive open access learning resources to adult migrants and refugees of both genders in EU countries. The project promotes the Erasmus+ objective of equity and inclusion by addressing the need to feel a real sense of social belonging and to gain the knowledge skills necessary to take part in employment, health, social security and schooling on an equal footing with EU citizens. Building on findings from the USA and our Erasmus+ project (Advenus) we know that reducing the education gap for migrants and refugees in European countries will help secure employment, health, education and other opportunities connected with equity and social belonging. This requires e-learning activities that are culturally and gender sensitive and at the same time offer the opportunity to be delivered not only fully on-line, but in-person in blended mode for those who have lower ICT skills.
Language skills can impact on learning engagement, something we experienced in the Advenus Project, and thus ReGap actively supports learning by additionally utilising visual media such as digital narratives and visual signs as an integral part of the resources. We also know that a significant barrier to engagement in e-learning is that the resources are not deemed relevant and fail to engage with the learners' need for knowledge about vitally important life-sustaining areas such employment, health, social security, education, gender equality and the system of justice and regulations for obtaining citizenship in the new country.
ReGap develops e-learning activities as stand alone courses that enhance the contextual and country specific knowledge of migrants and refugees across key topics and increases their sense of social belonging. Throughout the courses ICT skills are developed as participants become more competent with the platform, Moodle site and accessing support from the project team in each country, along with educators and professionals delivering the blended mode. A significant aspect in ReGap after the development and trialling of the resources is the dissemination of the resources regionally, nationally and internationally based upon a clearly defined Dissemination Plan.