The latest issue of Coventry University’s Innovate Magazine honours National Refugee Week by highlighting the research work of the MiFriendly Cities Programme.
The publication features news from the university’s expert researchers about the work they are undertaking to support local, national, and international communities, and showcases how Coventry’s research community is responding to global issues and challenges.
As the launch of the latest issue coincides with the week-long artistic, cultural and educational celebration of refugees, an Innovate feature article helps to explore how research project, MiFriendly Cities, is trialling innovative and sustainable approaches to refugee and migrant integration within the city of Coventry.
Employment is a vital part of any person’s autonomy and sense of belonging. But for migrants it also helps improve language skills, increase cultural awareness and build local and social networks.
Dr Catherine Harris, MiFriendly Cities Research Lead, from the Centre for Trust Peace and Social Relations
For migrants coming to the UK, finding a job, learning the language and integrating with a new community adds extra pressure to an already challenging experience. Despite education and skill levels, it can take up to seven years for migrants to find employment in the UK. This can be due to misunderstandings on the side of employers, are a lack of recognition of qualifications achieved outside the UK.
To this end, the programme has developed accredited digital fabrication courses, for Coventry residents of any background, at the university’s community training facility, FabLab Coventry. Courses include trade-specific language learning; Citizen Social Science; carpentry; painting; decorating; and public health.
The MiFriendly Cities project is not the only work showcased in the latest issue of Innovate Magazine. Articles feature an array of research, from Gamified learning to improving organic food systems. The full publication can be found on the Innovate magazine webpage.
You can also learn more about our researchers’ initiatives for refugees. Mitchel McTough from the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience has written a research blog about Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in Refugee Camps.