Cross-faculty group focuses on refugee issues

24 June 2016

Teams of researchers from across the University of Auckland have received funding to hold a series of ‘research cafes’.

The Social Science Research Cafes will be one-day events, bringing together social science researchers (staff and graduate students) to share expertise on nationally-relevant themes of shared interest.

One of the grants from the Engaged Social Science Research Initiative (ESSRI) - supported by the Vice-Chancellor’s Strategic Development Fund - will allow researchers to focus on the issues faced by refugees.

The project entitled ‘Robust, dynamic and purposeful: Establishing a refugee and asylum seeker research agenda for the 21st century,’ will be led by Associate Professors Louise Humpage, Arts, and Jay Marlowe, from the School of Education and Social Work.

The group will host a research café to bring together academic social scientists, the refugee sector, refugee communities and the public sector to establish theoretically and methodologically robust research questions and projects around refugee resettlement. The aim is to inform policy and services to ensure successful resettlement outcomes for refugees.

The research project was established in response to current events which has seen the largest movement of migrants globally since World War II. 

The researchers will address questions such as; what role should (and could) New Zealand play in resettling more refugees?  And how can we best prepare our refugee sector and the broader New Zealand society? 

Professor Dory Reeves from Architecture & Planning is on the team of University of Auckland researchers, who also include:

Dr Francis Collins, Environment, Faculty of Science;

Associate Professor Christa Fouché, Counselling, Human Services & Social Work, Faculty of Education and Social Work and Institute for Community Action Research and Evaluation;

Mr Paul Heyward, Learning, Development & Professional Practice, Faculty of Education and Social Work;

Dr Anna Hood, Law, Faculty of Law;

Dr David Mayeda, Sociology, Faculty of Arts; Faculty of Arts Assistant Dean Students and Equity;

Dr Terence O’Neill, Director, Student Equity;

Professor Dory Reeves, Architecture and Planning, Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries;

Dr Lane West-Newman, Sociology, Faculty of Arts.

The Social Science Research Cafes, like research salons, are designed as fairly informal and collegial, but structured, gatherings that will foster generative and substantive interdisciplinary conversations.

The day-long event planned for November aims to encourage participants to engage in constructive dialogue around critical questions faced by refugees and asylum seekers, to build personal relationships, and to foster collaborative learning.