Over the past three decades, migration has become increasingly diversified and has become one of the most complex social phenomena. Today, it is high on the political agenda of regional, national, European and international institutions and organisations. It also gives rise to heated political and social debates. The mission of the Tilburg Migration Community (TiMiCo) is to strengthen interdisciplinary research in the field of migration, to bring together different areas of expertise, with the ultimate aim of contributing to the improvement of policy-making on international migration and integration.
Current migration policies in most European countries are increasingly characterised by a lack of solidarity, efforts to prevent certain groups of migrants from reaching the borders of their own state and increasing restrictions on access to important social services (e.g. housing, labour market, welfare state etc.). Due to these interventions and the lack of legal migration opportunities, migrants often fall back on unsafe and risky migration routes and face more difficulties in settling and integrating. Criminal networks and corrupt authorities exploit these situations for their own benefit. Restrictive policies and poor integration are translated by some into a legitimisation of unequal treatment of migrants. Moreover, such interventions have a major impact on public opinion about migration as a process that needs to be closely monitored.
Impact through Innovative Research Methodology
Research by TiMiCo members focuses on different levels of analysis, namely the macro level (e.g. regional, national, European and international policies, labour markets), the meso level (e.g. migrant organisations) and the micro level (experiences of migrants and non-migrants and their social networks). We use our knowledge to contextualise policy, legislation and migration and integration experiences in migration studies and are able to generate data using new research methodologies, such as the use of mobile communication techniques, text mining and big data analysis. Through pioneering research that combines conventional and innovative research methods from different disciplines, we can generate an impact in the field of migration studies that goes beyond what individual researchers can achieve. The research results can be used as a basis for policy and regulation, but also for a more fundamental underpinning of the migration debate. In this way, we can increase our social impact.
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Mirjam van Reisen raises € 2 million for research into Digital Education for Resilience in Africa
To further strengthen Tilburg University’s focus on the Societal Challenge of Migration and the connection between research and education, the Tilburg University’s Honors Program will be dedicated to this theme as of January 2021. Four interdisciplinary and specialized courses on various aspects of the Societal Challenge of Migration will be offered to excellent students interested in the topic and motivated to look beyond their disciplinary horizon.