Children, youth and families

Unaccompanied minors; refugee youth; marriage migration; family reunification; intergenerational relations

Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education

Description: The main aim of this research project is an intersectional analysis of in- and excluding mechanisms in higher education for ethnic minority students and those from socio-economically vulnerable groups. During this project, the researcher(s) will investigate barriers & support-systems within higher education in a comprehensive way. To do so, two perspectives are employed: the agency perspective (i.e., the perspective of the student) and the system perspective (i.e., the perspective of the lecturer and system of higher education).
Website research project: https://research.flw.ugent.be/en/projects/diversity-and-inclusion-higher-education
Promoter(s): Wendelien Vantieghem
Researcher(s): Jente De Coninck
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2022 - 2026

Diversity in Education

Description: The Diversity in Education project considers the social inequalities in the Belgian educational system based on ethnicity, socio-economic background, disability and gender. In collaboration with KULeuven and ULB, the project has three research objectives. 1) An analytic overview of the current knowledge concerning social inequalities in the Belgian educational system 2) An analysis of the ways in which schools and teachers deal with diversity at school 3) An innovative analysis of the orientation process in schools
Website research project: https://www.unia.be/nl/publicaties-statistieken/publicaties/diversiteitsbarometer-onderwijs
Promoter(s): Reinhilde Pulinx , Piet Van Avermaet
Researcher(s): Wendelien Vantieghem , Iris Roose
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2015 - 2016

Does school social capital protect against loneliness in newly arrived minors? A mixed-method study in Flemish secondary schools providing reception programmes

Description: As the number of newly arrived minors (NAMs) has rapidly grown in Europe over the past decades, researchers have started to address the health consequences of migration for children. Theoretical insights suggest that NAMs are at a double jeopardy of loneliness, because of their age and migration status. Moreover, loneliness among NAMs is of major concern, as it could exacerbate existing ethnic inequalities in mental health, physical health and school outcomes. The aim of the project is threefold. First, we will estimate prevalence rates of loneliness in NAMs and identify migration-related characteristics associated with loneliness. Second, we will investigate whether school social capital protects against experiences of loneliness. Third, we will explore the mechanisms behind the association between school social capital and loneliness. To achieve these objectives, we will carry out a mixed-method study in secondary schools providing reception programs.
Promoter(s): Benedicte Deforche , Piet Bracke
Researcher(s): Sarah Devos , Katrijn Delaruelle
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences , Faculty of Political and Social Sciences
Period of time: 2021 - 2025

Families on the Move. A follow-along ethnography of families’ trajectories in the asylum regime in Belgium

Description: This PhD research consists of a longitudinal ethnography of families’ experiences during their asylum trajectories in Belgium. Taking as a starting point the process of applying for asylum, it follows a number of families within and beyond the multiple stages of their asylum procedure: from their stay in the reception centres to the neighborhoods and local communities, they settle into, or until they receive a negative decision and are regimented by return/deportation measures. Using various ethnographic methods – participant observation, home visits, narrative interviewing – the researcher seeks to analyze how families experience and contest processes of in/exclusion in their daily lives, as they move through multiple geographical and institutional sites in search of protection, care and stability. Moreover, she pays particular attention to the ways in which dominant family norms become entangled with notions of protection, belonging and integration in the politics of migration.
Website research project: https://soc.kuleuven.be/anthropology/staff/00134571/view
Promoter(s): Karel Arnaut , Ilse Derluyn
Researcher(s): Elsemieke van Osch
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
Period of time: 2019 - 2024

Hub Developing in Diversity

Description: The Hub Developing in Diversity wants to apply social innovation to increase opportunities for all children, youth and adults in Ghent. We mainly address social inequality in a learning context, by fully utilizing diversity. The Hub designs solutions which support them in their development and help them to build a future. The Hub is a space where innovative ideas are tested in short-term experiments, which can influence opinion, vision and policy regarding diversity. The experiments build on cocreation and exchange of knowledge and expertise, between Higher Education institutes of Ghent, the City of Ghent, citizens, institutions and organisations. The Hub will be fully operating by the end of 2021. In the meantime we set up a couple of pilots and prepare the working of the hub.
Website research project: https://www.ontwikkelenindiversiteit.be/
Promoter(s): Wendelien Vantieghem , Piet Van Avermaet
Researcher(s): Iris Vandevelde , Sofie Beunen , Eva Dierickx
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2019 - 2035

Language, care and protection: A sociolinguistic ethnography of the multilingual needs and challenges in the care trajectory of unaccompanied minors

Description: The project proposes a sociolinguistic ethnography of the multilingual needs and challenges of unaccompanied minor applicants for international protection (UAM) in relation to their right to advice, guidance and care. The central hypothesis is that their complex vulnerable positions upon arrival in the host society are exacerbated by linguistic vulnerabilities and insecurities. The project aims to examine the impact of language and multilingualism on the care trajectory, with a specific focus on the relationship of trust between legal guardians and UAM, with the objective of improving the quality of care. Drawing on qualitative and participatory research methods, the project envisages a combination of new fundamental insights in the impact of multilingualism and interpreting on the mediation of disclosure of personal information, building of trust and offering comfort in the relation between guardians and their UAM.
Promoter(s): Katrijn Maryns
Researcher(s): Lotte Remue
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2022 - 2026

Multilingualism in Secondary Education in Flanders: The Dynamics of Language Policy

Description: In many countries, global mobility and migration create a more diverse society. This shift in population also reflects in schools. However, pupils have great diversity in terms of ethnicity, talents, beliefs, and language skills; we see that Flemish schools still apply a monolingual language policy. Whereby Dutch is considered to be the standard language of instruction. Many Flemish schools completely ban the home language of pupils. This study aims to look at the school's language policy dynamics and how they influence each other (micro-, meso- and macro-level). During this ethnographic research, an intervention takes place, 2 classes of a Flemish secondary school are observed, interviews are conducted with teachers, pupils, management, and language teachers throughout the different phases of the research. This research aims to investigate how teachers' perceptions, attitudes, behaviors towards multilingualism change in the classroom after they implement FML in their own classroom.
Website research project: https://research.flw.ugent.be/en/projects/multilingualism-secondary-education-flanders-dynamics-language-policy
Promoter(s): Wendelien Vantieghem , Piet Van Avermaet
Researcher(s): Maxime Van Raemdonck
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2019 - 2023

POTENTIAL. Power to teach all. Competence development to create inclusive learning environments

Description: Schools and teachers around the world are facing a growing diversity and increasing complexity (social inequality, labeling, …). In the past, pupils’ assignments to classrooms and schools have rather fostered segregation than encouraged inclusion. Today, we see a tendency towards more inclusive learning environments (cf. amongst others, the UN Convention of 2007, ratified by Belgium in 2009). However, this poses enormous challenges to the professional development of (pre-service) teachers and teams. The main objective of the project ‘POTENTIAL’, Power to Teach All, is to develop the competences of (pre-service) teachers and school teams to create inclusive learning environments. 
Website research project: https://research.flw.ugent.be/en/projects/potential-power-teach-all-competence-development-create-inclusive-learning-environments
Promoter(s): Piet Van Avermaet
Researcher(s): Wendelien Vantieghem , Iris Roose
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2016 - 2019

PRO-M: Promoting Early Multilingualism in Childhood and Childcare

Description: Although language diversity poses short-term challenges, early multilingualism and multi-literacy come with great benefits, at least, when it is correctly supported. Currently, many language minority (LM) families are distressed about language issues and many early childhood (EC) professionals (such as parenting advisors and childcare staff) feel insecure in their approach toward LM families. This project aims to transform this societal problem by promoting early multilingualism and multi-literacy in childhood and childcare in Flanders. In the first phase of the project, large-scale data and small-scale will be collected. This will generate critical insights about the needs of LM families and competencies of EC professionals. In the second phase, this knowledge will be integrated into five valorisation applications that will address the broad field of EC professionals.
Website research project: https://research.flw.ugent.be/en/projects/pro-m-promoting-early-multilingualism-childhood-and-childcare
Promoter(s): Wendelien Vantieghem , Piet Van Avermaet
Researcher(s): Victoria Van Oss
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2018 - 2022