Discrimination, racism and prejudice

Ethnic and religious discrimination; discrimination in the labour market, housing market, education and health care

Access to education, employment and housing for beneficiaries of temporary protection and international protection in Belgium: an analysis from a non-discrimination perspective

Description: This PhD project focusses on the access to education, employment and housing for beneficiaries of temporary and international protection in Belgium. It thereby aims to identify the obstacles (both in policy and in practice) that these families encounter when trying to gain access to education, employment and/or housing as well as the extent to which these obstacles are a result of the respective protection scheme that the family falls under. Following the identification of obstacles, any differences in treatment will be assessed from a non-discrimination perspective. This research is part of the REFUFAM project “From policy gaps to policy innovations. Strengthening the well-being and integration pathways of refugee families”, a BRAIN-be 2.0 project funded by Belspo and carried out by a consortium of research partners. This interdisciplinary research project places families with an (international) protection status in Belgium at the centre of its analysis.
Promoter(s): Ellen Desmet , Robin Vandevoordt , Milena Belloni
Researcher(s): Roos-Marie van den Bogaard
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Law and Criminology
Period of time: 2021 - 2025

Bloody diversity. The transformative capacity of blood donation among ethnic minorities in redefining citizenship and solidarity in ethnically diverse societies

Description: In Europe, blood for transfusion is collected from voluntary, non-remunerated donors. In public discourse, blood donation is framed as an exemplary act of citizenship and solidarity. Despite sufficient blood supply, however, only a small percentage of the population donates, and in particular, ethnic minorities are underrepresented. Existing research has mainly focused on identifying cultural and structural barriers experienced by minorities. This project argues that such a donor-centered approach prevents us from questioning in a more fundamental way how the non-participation of ethnic minorities challenges the basic architecture of the blood procurement system as a Western beacon of citizenship and solidarity. We therefore conduct a country-comparison between Belgium and the UK, representing two different blood collection systems, to explore how ethnic minorities challenge the organization of blood collection.
Promoter(s): Lesley Hustinx , Pierre Monforte
Researcher(s): Toyah Van der Poten
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Political and Social Sciences
Period of time: 2022 - 2026

Challenging queer migration narratives. A case study of sexual orienation and gender identity (SOGI) rights in the Belgian asylum procedure.

Description: Forced migration continues to captivate social discourses, which often represent refugees as predominantly male, heterosexual, cisgender (and homophobic/transphobic) individuals. However, many people flee their home due to the persecution they fear on the ground of their sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). To receive international protection, SOGI refugees have to construct a narrative which proofs the credibility of their queerness and the well-foundedness of their fear of persecuction - in the eye of the beholder. The asylum procedure leaves SOGI refugees and state actors to negotiate with(in) the legal framework to come to the same understanding of SOGI rights, despite different cultural contexts and the dominance of Western frameworks. Building on the critical insights of queer and post-colonial scholars, the research will analyse the narratives used by SOGI refugees and state actors in the Belgian asylum procedure.
Promoter(s): Ellen Desmet, Marlies Casier
Researcher(s): Liselot Casteleyn
Department / Research group: Migration Law Research Group
Faculty: Faculty of Law and Criminology
Period: 2021 - 2025

Classroom Justice in ethnic diverse classrooms: The perspective of ethnic cultural minorities across generations

Description: The perception of being treated fairly in the classroom and at school is important for pupils. Previous research shows that these perceptions are associated with positive school outcomes such as motivation, enjoyment and interest in learning. In contrast, the perception of being treated unfairly at school is associated with higher levels of aggression, hostility and resistance to teachers. This research project studies classroom justice perceptions for the first time in an ethnically diverse context with attention for the perspective of ethnic cultural minorities. Using qualitative methodologies, we study classroom justice among different age groups (parents, adolescents and elementary school children) across generations. To develop a better understanding about this phenomenon, we also study how parental socialization, societal changes across generations and child development help shape these perceptions.
Promoter(s): Bart Van de Putte , Alain Van Hiel
Researcher(s): Fien Geenen
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Political and Social Sciences , Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
Period of time: 2020 - 2024

Considering ethnicity in forensic mental health care: experiences of migrant and ethnic minority service users and their service providers

Description: Persons from migrant and ethnic minority groups are relatively overrepresented in forensic mental health care, however, it remains unclear how they recover and desist from crime. The Good Lives Model, as a leading strengths-based rehabilitation framework, is regarded as a promising avenue. One could wonder though how forensic service users who identify themselves as MEM prioritize and conceptualize the Good Lives conceptions. In this study, we place MEM forensic service users’ perspectives on their rehabilitation needs and how these needs can be fulfilled (i.e. Good Lives conceptions) center stage. Additionally, we study forensic service providers’ needs towards MEM rehabilitation in forensic mental health services while identifying currently implemented promising practices. Next, these results will be validated by international experts in culturally sensitive mental health care and/or forensic mental health care, in order to formulate policy recommendations.
Promoter(s): Freya Vander Laenen, Stijn Van de Velde
Researcher(s): Marjolein De Pau
Faculty: Faculty of Law and Criminology
Period: 2021 - 2025

Considering ethnicity in forensic mental health care: Experiences of service users from migrant- and ethnic minority groups and their care takers

Description: The needs of people from migrant and ethnic minority groups (MEM) in a forensic psychiatric context have, despite their overrepresentation, long been overlooked. Contrary to a large body of evidence in regular mental health care, it remains unclear how MEM forensic service users recover and desist from crime, or how they hope to lead Good Lives (see also Good Lives Model). In this study, we research MEM forensic service users’ perspectives on their needs and how these needs can be fulfilled. Additionally, forensic service providers contribute to the discovery of promising practices, while indicating their professional needs concerning the treatment of MEM forensic service users. In a last phase, these results will be internationally validated by experts in treating MEM service users in a forensic psychiatric context.
Promoter(s): Freya Vander Laenen , Stijn Vandevelde
Researcher(s): Marjolein De Pau
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Law and Criminology
Period of time: 2021 - 2025

Culturally sensitive mental healthcare: cultural conversations in psychotherapy with ethnic minority clients

Description: The existing body of research on psychotherapy has emphasized the crucial role of culturally sensitive care from both therapist and client perspectives. Despite its importance, there remains a paucity of evidence on the implementation of culturally responsive practices that prevent premature dropout and enhance therapy success. In the current research we aim to contribute to the literature by studying meaningful cultural conversations– i.e. broaching - in psychotherapy with ethnic minority clients.
Promoter(s): Alain Van Hiel , Bart Van de Putte , Piet Bracke
Researcher(s): Hilde Depauw
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences , Faculty of Political and Social Sciences
Period of time: 2020 - 2025

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

EdisTools: Developing training tools for explaining and reducing ethnic discrimination in the fields of education, health care, housing and labour

Description: EdisTools aims to get a better understanding of ethnic inequality and ethnic discrimination in the social domains of health, housing, education and work, so that (often well-intentioned or unconscious) processes that give rise to it can be addressed. EdisTools wants to develop both innovative, scientific knowledge and user-friendly training tools that service providers and organizations in these domains can use.
Website research project: https://edistools.org/
Promoter(s): Peter Stevens , Stijn Baert , Eva Derous , Wendelien Vantieghem , Sara Willems , Pieter-Paul Verhaeghe
Researcher(s): Fanny D'hondt , Stijn Schelfhout , Abel Ghekiere , Marloes Hagenaars , Louis Lippens , Robin Vandecasteele
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Political and Social Sciences , Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences , Faculty of Economics and Business Administration , Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
Period of time: 2019 - 2023

FedDiverse - Ethnic diversity in federal public services in Belgium

Description: Ethnic minorities are still underrepresented at higher echelons of many organizations, including the public sector. This co-funded project by BelSpo and BO/SA aims to identify factors that promote (and inhibit) ethnic diversity in the federal public services during the initial screening stages as well as later career/promotion stages. The project should allow the federal public services to improve their strategies, procedures and practices for recruiting, selecting and promoting ethnic minorities. Although the focus of this project is on ethnic diversity, we will apply an intersectional perspective in terms of gender, age, job levels, contract type and other relevant variables.
Promoter(s): Eva Derous , Donatienne Desmette , Pieter-Paul Verhaeghe
Researcher(s): Eva Derous , Pieter-Paul Verhaeghe , Donatienne Desmette , Aylin Kocack , Bert Leysen
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
Period of time: 2023 - 2024

Gender-(in)sensitivity in credibility assessments of applications based on sexual or gender-based violence in the European asylum procedure

Description: Lore’s doctoral research echoes the UN Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR, 2013) concern that asylum authorities might base credibility assessments on stereotypical and erroneous perceptions of gender. Her research aims to analyse the gender-(in)sensitivities in credibility assessments of asylum applications based on sexual or gender-based violence (SGBV) in the European asylum procedure (going beyond only ‘rape’ as a type of SGBV). Her research will collect data from 3 complementary resources: existing literature, asylum authorities (through case law analysis and KAP (Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices) surveys) and asylum seekers themselves (through qualitative interviews). This triangulation of input will expand the understanding of the asylum procedure and its gendered legal challenges and will contribute to the further theorization of asylum-specific gender studies.
Promoter(s): Ellen Desmet , Ines Keygnaert
Researcher(s): Lore Roels
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Law and Criminology , Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Period of time: 2021 - 2025

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

Inclusive, holistic care for migrant victims of sexual violence (INHeRE)

Description: Migrants, Applicants for international protection and Refugees are at high risk of sexual violence prior to, during and after their arrival in Europe. Up to 58% and 32% of female and male refugees respectively, have experienced sexual victimization. Although an integrated and holistic approach (encompassing forensic, medical and psychosocial care) from detection to follow-up has been recognized as the best care for all SV victims, access to holistic care for migrant victims is hampered by a broad range of barriers. Frontline professionals working with migrants often lack the specialist knowledge, language skills and tools to provide inclusive and holistic care for victims, or do not know where to refer them. The general aim of the INHeRE project was to improve inclusive, holistic care for migrant victims of sexual violence, regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation and/or legal status by strengthening the capacity of multi-sector frontline professionals.
Website research project: https://www.icrhb.org/nl/projecten/inclusive-holistic-care-for-migrant-victims-of-sexual-violence-inhere
Promoter(s): Ines Keygnaert , Ilse Derluyn
Researcher(s): Leni Linthout , Ines Keygnaert , An Verelst , Nikolett Szelei
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences , Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
Period of time: 2019 - 2021

Interrogating Islamic roads to conviviality

Description: This project examines conviviality as an everyday practice of bridging religious and cultural difference from the perspective of Muslim minorities in Belgium. It aims to reveal the modalities in which Islamic frames of reference and ethics are mobilized by individuals while striving for harmonious convivial living together across religious difference. The project investigates conviviality in relation to notions of tolerance in Islamic theological and philosophical writings bearing on Western urban contexts. These insights are complemented by in-depth anthropological fieldwork. This project empirically investigates how Belgian Muslims engage in everyday ethical thought and practice while seeking conviviality and negotiating identity. Analysis will identify obstacles and categories of experiences of success and failure while seeking convivial living. Doing so, this project offers solid and evidence-based research on highly neglected facets of Muslim life in Europe.
Promoter(s): Chia Longman
Researcher(s): An Van Raemdonck
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2022 - 2025

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

Performing kinship with illegalised migrants. Comparing hospitality practices in Brussels and Rome

Description: While the so-called European migration crisis has been echoed with increasingly hostile EU border policies and anti-migrant rhetoric, it has also prompted many citizens' solidarity initiatives towards migrants across the continent. In this context, hosting migrants at home emerged as a new puzzling and exciting phenomenon. Drawing on ethnographic research methods, this project aims to be one of the first to conduct a systematic analysis of hospitality practices - providing shelter at one's home - and the strong, affective, family-like relations (fictive kinship practices) emerging between migrants illegalised by the State and their urban resident-hosts in Brussels and Rome.
Promoter(s): Robin Vandevoordt , Lesley Hustinx
Researcher(s): Julija Kekstaite
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences , Faculty of Political and Social Sciences
Period of time: 2021 - 2025

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

Reimagining higher education: a decolonial journey at the University of Ghent

Description: This research aims at reconfiguring decolonization in higher education by means of re-imagining how to organize higher education in regards to accessibility and knowledge production. Flanders is characterized by growing diversity. Not only the number of persons with migration background is increasing, but the internal diversity of these groups is too. This ‘superdiversity’ of the population in Flanders is an important challenge for policymakers and the service-providing society (Noppe et al., 2018). We aim to understand what decolonization can mean within the context of the University of Ghent, whilst staying close to the perspectives and experiences of students with a migration background and mapping barriers to participation in higher education. Additionally working with the diversity sensitivity of teachers through monitoring learning networks and looking at role models and leadership in the context of promoting students with a migration background within the University of Ghent.
Promoter(s): Elisabeth De Schauwer
Researcher(s): Yasmine Kaied
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
Period of time: 2022 - 2028