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MDX professors working with new generation of migration studies researchers

Three academics host writing workshops with Tunisian students through British Academy-funded initiative

Tim Freeman, Professor in Leadership, Anne-Wil Harzing, Professor in International Business, and Nico Pizzolato, Associate Professor in Global Labour Studies, have co-led a writing programme for emerging scholars of migration in Tunisia.

In recent years Tunisia has emerged as a significant transit country for migrants attempting to reach Europe, especially those from sub-Saharan Africa.

Transit migration is defined as the movement of people through a particular country or region with the ultimate goal of reaching another destination.

With Tunisia’s migration policies currently at the centre of debate and controversies around the type of agreement that the European Union should have with transit countries to regulate the flows of migration, a team from MDX has been working on a British Academy-funded international writing workshop which aims to look to the future.

Twenty-four PhD students and early career researchers investigating migration flows of refugees, victims of trafficking and peoples seeking better lives and opportunities took part in the workshop, which ran over five days.

Led by Federica Mazzara (PI, University of Westminster) and co-investigators Saskia Huc-Hepher, Lilian Miles (University of Westminster) and Samira Mechri and Rim Triki (University of Tunis El Mahar), the aim was for students to improve their academic writing and understanding of editorial, review, and publishing processes for research within high-ranking academic journals.

They also worked on and refined their projects, which cover a range of topics:

  • analysis of the discourses on immigration of the European Union;
  • forms of socialisation of sub-Saharan migrants and the legal framework of transit migration in Tunisia;
  • routes into and out of Tunisia;
  • migrant solidarity and resistance in Tunisia using digital spaces;
  • victims of trafficking
  • migrant women’s unmet reproductive health needs.

Sessions looked at collaborative approaches to co-production of knowledge, how to successfully submit articles to journals, and researcher and publications ethics.

Representatives of intergovernmental organisations and non-governmental organisations also joined the workshop and discussed the need for transdisciplinary co-production of knowledge in this field.

Dr. Nico Pizzolato said the workshop is part of the MDX strategy to foster research into equity, health and inclusive socio-economic development.

“The British Academy international writing workshop scheme, which has been awarded to the University several times in the past, is a wonderful opportunity to create capacity for outstanding researchers in the Global South,” he added.

“It creates professional connections, and even friendships, that will be long-lasting in the career of these junior academics.”

Student Monia Channouffi said: "This workshop was certainly interesting and well-organised. It covered all the challenges faced by researchers in publishing their work and gave us an opportunity to turn our ideas on transit migration into published articles."

To find out more about studying at MDX, click here.

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