In the framework of its Solidarity Cities initiative, EUROCITIES concluded an agreement with the foundation “Open Society Institute” for 2017. As part of the activities of the Open Society’s “Education support programme”, EUROCITIES will receive dedicated funding to organise two mentoring visits in 2017 in the field of Education for asylum seekers and refugees in cities. These visits will follow the mentoring methodology used in the ImpleMentoring project.

Under the Open Society Education Grant, this methodology will be used for the benefit of cities willing to engage in improving their educational system in the face of mass arrival of beneficiaries of international protection. As stated in the upcoming EUROCITIES report “Cities actions for education of refugees and asylum seekers”, providing education to children of asylum seekers and refugees and to unaccompanied minors is one of the main urgent integration challenges faced by European cities, and one they cannot afford to lose.

Most major European cities have been deeply involved for a long time in the education of migrants and persons with a migrant background. But the scale of the refugee situation presents new specific challenges.

EUROCITIES has gathered in 2016 evidence from 25 cities[1], documenting how they organised their response and how they were looking to upgrade their education strategy and promote innovative practices. These responses are gathered in an online database available to EUROCITIES members. They helped EUROCITIES to identify common trends, challenges and solutions at city level, despite varying contexts and responsibilities for cities across Europe. They also helped to assess burning needs and gaps in practices identified by some members struggling with the scale of the arrivals, the lack of means or the novelty of the situation for them

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A call will be launched within the network at the beginning of 2017 for interested cities.

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[1] Amsterdam, Athens, Antwerp,  Berlin, Bilbao, Ghent, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Helsinki, Leeds, Leipzig, Madrid, Munich, Malmo, Nuremberg, Oslo, Pendik, Riga, Stockholm, Tallinn, Tampere,  The Hague and Tilburg, Vienna