Fostering permanent cooperation between governmental and academic institutions in the area of migration has become recognised and accepted as an important tool in migration policy development. In general, government-academia cooperation strengthens the capacity of the authorities to define migration policy based on analysing the interlinkages between migration and development. However, this cooperation also enriches the content and scope of migration research as well as teaching at universities, by increasing the practicality of these academic activities.
A multidisciplinary approach to migration no longer just about departure and arrival, regularisation of stay or providing protection is necessary to deal with migration as a complex and mainly interdisciplinary phenomenon which has the potential to benefit both individuals and countries of origin, transit and destination. Migration is closely related to economics, law, demography, social sciences, development, politics, media, human capital development and many other fields. In allowing and promoting active discussion, exchange and mutual cooperation between government and academia, another door can be opened to further balance between political and social priorities and the results of migration research, while defining state migration policy and managing migration.
Establishment of cooperation between government and academia within a specific country is an important step. However, it is not enough to attain a broad and comprehensive picture of migration processes, as international migration by definition always includes crossing the borders of at least two states. Therefore, government-academia cooperation should be brought to the next level, becoming a bridge to broader international or regional framework international migration research, serving governments in different countries and regions in tasks related to the development and implementation of migration policy.
In this regard, the following activities are being carried out:
- A yearly Summer School for students, graduates and young professionals working on migration-related issues in state institutions, civil society organisations or research institutions;
- An annual migration research conference aiming at bringing together local and international scholars and policymakers to discuss migration-related research and its application to migration policy both worldwide and in Georgia;
- Migration Talks for students, young graduates and professionals at universities in Tbilisi and in the regions. The Talks see prominent lecturers and academics address migration-related topics such as general migration trends, migration and security, etc.;
- Creation of a network of EU, Eastern Partnership and Georgian migration scholars and academics for teaching activities in Georgia and exchange of information;
- Organisation and implementation of moot court competitions for Georgian students.
Media Education on Migration
The content of this activity will be shaped by the results of the media monitoring activities being undertaken.
According to Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recommendations, Member States are encouraged to establish cooperation with the media on migration, organise seminars and training courses for media professionals on the subject of intercultural education and the problem of intolerance, and systematically evaluate the quality of media output on migrant and ethnic minority matters. Public media should play a responsible role in combating racism and xenophobia through objective migration coverage; and official public relations services should provide full, unbiased information on subjects connected with migrants and ethnic minorities.
The main focus of this activity is to provide training for journalists and other media representatives on visa liberalisation issues, EU-Georgia relations generally, mobility between Georgia and the EU, and the consequences of misusing the visa-free regime, so as to enhance their ability to provide accurate, transparent and up-to-date information to the public. Further, specific attention is paid to understanding the effects on public attitudes of how migration is painted by mass media sources.
With this in mind, the following activities are being carried out:
- Development of training methodology and content for journalist and other media representatives;
- Organisation of capacity building activities for media representatives.