For a different narrative of migration: Partners of the project present results at the Final Conference in Tunis

Migrants project Final Conference took place in Tunis, at Cité des Sciences, on last 02 May 2023. It was an opportunity to bring together all of the partners, the University of Tunis El Manar, the University of Tunis, the University of La Manouba, the University of Granada and the University of Westminster; non-academic partners UNIMED – The Union of Mediterranean Universities, COSPE – Cooperation for the development of emerging countries and CLEDU – the Human Rights Clinic of Palermo and to present the results of the project. In particular, the new Master in Migration Studies: Governance, Policies and Cultures, one of the most important objectives achieved, involving 50 students and 25 Tunisian professors from the universities of Tunis El Manar, University of Tunis, University of La Manouba.

“Migrants Project is one of the most successful project that won the Erasmus Plus grant in Tunisia due to the dynamics within the consortium and the cooperative spirit between the partners. The achievements of the project in terms of the creation of the Master’s degree in Migration Studies: attracting more than 200 applications, selecting 25 students each year from various disciplines such as economics, law, international relations, communication, business and management, social and human sciences and English; starting a double degree and consolidating a network in the field of migration; initiating new projects. Moreover, this project helps in fostering “cultural awareness” about the political, media and public opinion discourse about migration, given the local, regional and global challenges”, stated the Scientific Coordinator for Université de Tunis El Manar, Prof. Samira Mechri.

Regarding the MA students and the creation of the Master, the Scientific Director and Coordinator of the projec from Università degli Studi di Palermo, Prof. Serena Marcenò said that: “Migrants has worked to train, study, research and work so that the younger generations have the tools to develop a different and contrasting vision with respect to the current security drift in the governance of migratory flows. And this is our sustainability, the knowledge, the skills, our students’ critical gaze on the present”.

In addition to the partners, the conference was attended by Matthew Forman, Representative of the British Embassy in Tunisia, Fabrizio Saggio, Ambassador of Italy in Tunis and the Coordinator of the Erasmus Plus office in Tunisia, Nesrine Baklouti.

In the greetings addressed to the partners and to the public, the Italian Ambassador in Tunis, Fabrizio Saggio, said: “All the projects that underpin the training are supported by the embassy and the Italian government because this is how we can give future to young people. I hope that the results will be lasting and that they will allow the students, Tunisians and not, to enter the labour market with the appropriate tools”.

The role of academic training and civil society in generating change towards a different narrative of migration has been repeatedly stressed by several actors participating to the conference. These are the words of the Coordinator of Erasmus Plus in Tunisia, Nesrine Baklouti:

“Higher education is crucial in the transition to inclusive societies. For this reason, universities must continue to work to capitalise on best practice in the future. The most important thing now is the sustainability and continuity of the project”.

Within the activities of the project, the team of the University of Palermo, led by Professor Serena Marcenò, will organize the last Summer School, which will be held in the prestigious setting of the Botanical Garden of Palermo from 10 to 13 July.
The “Migrants” project will officially end on 14 September 2023.

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