Hide menu

European networking at refugee conference

RefugeesHousing, best practices in education and collaboration. Examples of how European countries have received refugees were the focus of a recently completed three-day conference in Norrköping.

The initiative was taken by Lars Stjernkvist, chair of the municipal council in Norrköping and previously coordinator of Sweden’s work to receive refugees. He used his opening speech to emphasise values such as solidarity, collaboration and helping each other.

His message was that we must show that it is possible to defend human rights and the right to asylum. This is possible if we work together and show solidarity throughout Europe, he stated.

The participants included 130 researchers, people working with refugees, and representatives for voluntary organisations from throughout Europe – including Hungary, Macedonia and Germany. The conference aimed to demonstrate best practices, and allow people to build new networks for greater collaboration.

“This conference has focussed on the constructive work that has been done and is still going on, both in Sweden and in many other European countries. We wanted to emphasise this aspect of the debate in society, and collect experiences that have been gained in Europe during the special situation with refugees that has arisen during the past year or so,” says Erik Berggren of REMESO (the Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society).

Examples of issues that were discussed are the various ways in which accommodation for refugees can be provided, how different municipalities and countries attempt to find pathways for the newly arrived into the education system and the labour market, questions related to health, and collaboration with civil society.

One important aspect of the conference was to draw conclusions based on such questions as: “What are the main reasons that a particular initiative or activity has been so successful in refugee reception?”, “Are there inspiring examples of work with refugees?”, “What should politicians learn by attending this conference?”, and “What should the researchers learn?”. The conclusions reached at the conference will continue to make the reception of refugees easier.

Akwasi Osei.Akwasi Osei is a doctoral student in sociology at Linnaeus University. He is studying undocumented migrants from western Africa and their situation in Holland and Sweden.

“I meet lots of people here who can give new insights and contacts. And there are many good examples, one of which is the way Swedish families invite refugees for a meal or coffee. People are often afraid of strangers, which is natural, but even so some families invite others into their homes,” says Akwasi Osei.

Pria Bhabra is working with refugee reception in Leeds in the UK. During the past six years, the municipality has built up an organisation intended to make it easier for newly arrived people to become familiar and understand how things work in Britain, everything from legislation and sexual health to how to get a job and education as soon as possible.

“We have drop-in meetings on Tuesdays, and these are a great success. These can focus on various topics, such as health, employment, finance, accommodation or the possibility of becoming a volunteer worker.

Pria BhabraPria Bhabra plays a key role in helping refugees to find their place in the machinery of society.

“My role is to ensure that all individuals achieve their potential, that they rapidly find places in employment or language education at an appropriate level, and that they are given help with all the practicalities that are involved with finding your feet in a completely new society,” says Pria Bhabra.

Anna-Birgitte Moberg, integration coordinator in Mjölby municipality, was able to set up a broader network of contacts at the conference.

Anna-Birgitte Moberg“I met people from Sweden, and I also talked with folk from Spain, Italy and Finland about how they work with refugees. We can learn from each other, and share not only success stories but also things that don’t work out. It’s extremely important to make new contacts. Even while still at the conference, I sent an e-mail to a colleague about a new idea I had got.”

One of the keynote speakers at the conference was Pia Prytz Phiri from UNHCR. She pointed out that a tiny fraction of the global flow of refugees reaches Europe, and expressed frustration at the total failure on the part of Europe to receive them. She was, however, impressed by the great humanitarian work carried out by the civil society and voluntary organisations. And she emphasised how important it is to continue to work with these questions.

“All countries in Europe must show solidarity and organise the work to prepare for the next influx of refugees. They must also learn to recognise the potential and capacity of the people who flee,” concluded Pia Prytz Phiri.

Photo: Eva Bergstedt


Welcoming refugees – Local European experiences

Eva Bergstedt Mon Jan 30 15:22:01 CET 2017

young woman in front of the mirror hiding her face

Appearance fixation may be hidden mental disorder

Body dysmorphic disorder, BDD, is a relatively common mental disorder in Sweden, according to a thesis from Linköping University. The results suggest that people with BDD are disappointed by their contact with the health care system, and experience that the disease is unknown in the system.

Biogas – easy to underestimate

Biogas has far more benefits to society than simply being a non-fossil fuel, and its use contributes to all of the UN’s sustainable development goals. These conclusions have recently been presented in a report by Linda Hagman and Mats Eklund of the Biogas Research Center.


LiU awarded jubilee grant from KAW

Visualization Center C in Norrköping will be the hub in a major science project funded by SEK 150 million from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

Heat driven transistor

The world’s first heat-driven transistor

Dan Zhao and Simone Fabiano at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics, Linköping University, have created a thermoelectric organic transistor. A temperature rise of a single degree is sufficient to cause a detectable current modulation in the transistor.

Manon Kok

Sensors at play and work

We can use sensors attached to the body to capture patterns of motion, and the results can be used in the gaming and film industries, in medical rehabilitation, and in the training of top-flight athletes. Manon Kok’s doctoral thesis deals with inertial sensors.

"knitted muscles"

“Knitted muscles” provide power

Researchers have coated normal fabric with an electroactive material, and in this way given it the ability to actuate in the same way as muscle fibres.

Refugee child

Children’s best interests sidelined in asylum appeals

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) has very limited influence on how the Swedish Migration Court of Appeal reaches its judgements in asylum cases. Decisions in the vast majority of these cases are based on other factors.

The Geberlein Man

Mummy visualisation impresses

World-leading technology from Linköping University and Visualization Center C has been described in a prestigious journal of computer science, Communications of the ACM, where it has received a great deal of attention.

A robot moves a brush across a test subject’s arm at various speeds

The importance of touch

Why do we get pleasant sensations when a person we like strokes our skin? India Morrison, winner of this year's Fernström Prize, wants to find out how touch and pain affect our behaviour.


Academic boycott

Protestplakat mot Trumps inreseförbudLiU researchers have joined international calls for a boycott of scientific conferences in the US.


risky perfectionism

Woman putting on make upPsychology students took on role of treaters in a study of perfectionism and internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy.


social sustainability

People in motionSocial value creation is on the agendas of more and more companies and organisations. Erik Jannesson, senior lecturer in management control, has just published a book on the subject.


Critical of the national board of health and welfare

Rolf HolmqvistRolf Holmqvist is one of 17 researchers who are critical to guidelines for the treatment of depression and anxiety.


when researchers meet vulnerability

Child in SyriaMalin Thor Tureby was keynote speaker at an international conference on oral history.


global media hit

CatCats that meow with a dialect have caused a sensation in the world media. Robert Eklund, a linguist who works with cats at the Department of Culture and Communication, has lost count of the number of times the work has been reported in the media.


farewell exchange students

Farewell Mingle 2016On 6 December, a Farewell Mingle was held for departing exchange students who have studied at Linköping University.


success for new master's

Stefan Jonsson"We have a global and critical perspective that attracts today's students," says Stefan Jonsson, professor at REMESO, about the Faculty of Arts and Science’s first international master’s programme at REMESO in Norrköping - Ethnic and Migration Studies.


health is our new religion

YogisAchieving perfect health has become a religion in the western world, according to a newly published study. Barbro Wijma, professor emerita and physician with many years of experience meeting patients, views this development with dismay.


black in sweden

Victoria Kawesa

Skin colour matters, also in Sweden. But many people don’t accept that racism is a problem here – only in other countries. So claims doctoral student Victoria Kawesa, who writes about black feminism and whiteness in Sweden.


redress for neglect

Shadows of peopleJohanna Sköld from Child Studies at Linköping University co-organised an international workshop where researchers compared various models of compensation for institutional neglect and abuse.


tomorrow's nobel laureates?

Pupils from a primary school in Skäggetorp Anna Lindström and Monika Lopez of the Department of Culture and Communication applied earlier this year for funding for an initiative in an issue relating to refugees. The funding was granted, and the “Tomorrow’s Nobel laureates” project was born. 


Alumni of the year 1

Suad Ali, porträtt

Suad Ali, expert on Sweden’s refugee quota, works tirelessly for refugees worldwide. For her dedication she has been chosen as one of Linköping University’s two Alumni of the Year.


Alumni of the Year 2

Thomas-Lunner-i-studioThomas Lunner’s research has given improved hearing to millions of people with impaired hearing. He has been chosen as one of this year’s Alumni of the Year.

 All features

Follow us

Nyhetsbrev LiU-news


RSS RSS Events


In brief

A rose to store energy

A special structure for storing energy known as a supercapacitor has been constructed in a plant for the first time. The plant, a rose, can be charged and discharged hundreds of times. This breakthrough is the result of research at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics at Linköping University.

Athletes’ symptom anxiety linked to risk of injury

The anxiety experienced by elite athletes over illness symptoms is linked to the risk of being injured during competition and should be taken seriously, according to a the study. The way in which the symptoms progress and the nature of the sporting activity also influence the risk of injury.

Online sexual abuse as serious as offline

Young people and children who are victims of online sexual abuse can be in a very poor mental state and can require treatment and support, according to a recently published report on young people’s experience of online sexual abuse.

Research into “big data” secures big money

When Parkinson’s disease is treated by electrical stimulation of the brain, huge amounts of data are produced. A group of researchers led by Professor Karin Wårdell of LiU will use these data to develop a visual aid for brain surgeons.

LiU's annual report published

In 2016 approximately 27,000 students attended Linköping University, and the university employed approximately 4,000 people. Revenue for the year amounted to just over SEK 3.7 billion.

Page manager: anna.nilsen@liu.se
Last updated: Tue Jan 02 14:25:50 CET 2018