May 2014

SPRC NEWSLETTER – Social Policy Research Centre – Middlesex University
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May 2014




SPRC News, Training Opportunities, Forthcoming Events, Recent Projects, Research Reports, Publications, Presentations at Conferences and Workshops, Educational research at the SPRC

  • Congratulations to two recently successful PhD students: Sian Peer and Xia Lin
  • Jon Mulholland and Louise Ryan’s ESRC-funded project French Capital is currently featured in an ESRC Home Page Press Release, in the light of Francois Hollande’s recent visit to the UK and an upsurge in debates relating to the comparative qualities of the UK and France: London – Fast Track City:
  • Dr Elena Vacchelli has been invited to be part of an international advisory board  for the project entitled ‘Reconfiguring Public Spaces Through Green Urban Commons’ lead by Professor Ulrich Brand. The workshop will take place in Vienna on Friday 16th May 2014.
  • Dr Dominic Pasura has been nominated for the 2014 Zimbabwe Achievers Awards, ( for his academic achievements which include the publication of his book:  ‘African Transnational Diasporas: Fractured Communities and Plural Identities of Zimbabweans in Britain’, published by Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Erica Howard’s blog (Howard, E. Banning Niqabs in Public Spaces European Journal of International Law Blog: discusses the French ban on the wearing of face veils in public places, which is currently awaiting a decision from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. I argue that the Court should apply its own earlier case law and find that a blanket ban in all public spaces is a violation of the right to freedom of religion.
  • Two – Day NVivo 10 Basic NVivo & Advanced NVivo training at the SPRC (10 – 17  May 2014)
  • The SPRC will be launching two recent reports on Friday 13th June at the Hendon Campus (room tbc) This event aims to bring together practitioners, community activists, local policy makers and academics in an opportunity to engage with common issues through case studies, examples of good practices and ‘knowledge exchange’ and will highlight the experience of BMER and Women’s organisations in London. Please contact Preeti Kathrecha for more details.
  • Mixed-method approaches to social network analysis: A conference organised by the Social Network Analysis Study Group (SNAG) of the British Sociological Association (BSA)  with Middlesex University – Prof Louise Ryan and Alessio D’Angelo and University of Greenwich –  12 May 2014, Middlesex University, Hendon Campus, London NW4 4BT
  • Analysis of 2011 Census Data commissioned by ‘Irish in Britain’, 2014,  Ryan, Puniskis, Kaye and D’Angelo
  • Evaluation and Impact of the BMER Advice Network (BAN Partnership), 2014, D’Angelo  and Kathrecha
  • Between Opportunities and Challenges: Women’s Community and Voluntary Organisations in London, 2014, Vacchelli and Kathrecha
  • Irish Migrant Teachers in Britain (2014) Louise Ryan and Edina Kurdi in partnership with the ‘Irish in Britain’ (funded by the Third Sector Research Centre). Report to be launched at the Irish Embassy, London, May, 2014.
  • Louise Ryan has signed a book contract with Routledge for a new edited book entitled: An End to the Crisis in Empirical Sociology? (co-edited with Prof Linda McKie)
  • Ryan, L and Mulholland, J (2014) ‘Wives are the route to Social Life: an analysis of family life and networking amongst highly skilled migrants in London’ Sociology, 48(2) pp 251-267
  • Ryan and Mulholland (2013) ‘French Connections: The networking strategies of French highly skilled migrants in London’ Global Networks,  DOI: 10.1111/glob.12038
  • Kaye, D’Angelo, Ryan, Lőrinc (2014) Early School Leaving in the European Union: Data Availability and Reporting, Project Paper No3, part of the FP7-funded EU project Reducing Early School Leaving in Europe ( Available online:
  • Howard, E. Protecting Freedom to Manifest One’s Religion or Belief: Strasbourg or Luxembourg? Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights (Forthcoming, June 2014)
  • King, R. and Christou, A. (2014) ‘Second-generation “return” to Greece: new dynamics of transnationalism and integration’, International Migration, doi: 10.1111/imig.12149
  • King, R., Christou, A. and Levitt P. (2014) Second-Generation and Ancestral ‘Return’ Mobilities, Routledge
  • Christou, A. (2014) “Ageing ‘Phantasmagorically’ in Exile: The Resilience of Unbearable and Unattainable Homelands in the Jewish and Cuban Imagination”, in Walsh, K. and Nare, L. (eds.) Re-thinking Home: Transnational Migration and Older Age, Routledge
  • Christou, A. (2013) “Ageing in the ancestral homeland: enthnobiographical reflections on return migration in later life”, in Percival, J. (ed.) Return Migration in Later Life, Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 179-193
  • Christou, A. (2013) “Gendered and emotional spaces: Nordic-Hellenic negotiations of ethno-cultural belongingness in narrating segmented selves and diasporic lives in the second generation”, in Laura Oso and Natalia Ribas-Mateos (eds.) The International Handbook on Gender, Migration and Transnationalism, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 294-311
  • Louise Ryan  was invited to present  ‘Making Connections: re-appraising the links between social networks and social capital’ at UnDocNet conference, London, Metropolitan University
  • Alessio D’Angelo presented at the conference Supporting London’s Migrant Families to Engage and Achieve
  • Eleonore Kofman spoke at the ‘Divided Families’ workshop and at the final Question and Answers Panel at the ‘Movement Against Racism’ conference on 15 March.
  • Prof Eleonore Kofman presented a paper ‘Transnational Spaces: migrant agency and strategies and state management in Europe, Session Spatial agency and migration processes: Shaping places, journeys, people, International Studies Association conference, Toronto, 26-29 March 2014’
  • Dr Elena Vacchelli presented a paper entitled ‘ Austerity localism at a time of restructuring of the women’s community and voluntary sector in London’ at the recent annual BSA conference in Leeds.
  • Researchers at the SPRC having a growing body of work on issues related to education – especially in relation to migration, supplementary schools and the ways in which children and schooling may impact upon family migration strategies.

In recent years, the SPRC has carried out several studies on these topics including:

  • BME Children in London: Educational Needs and the Role of Community Organisations. An evaluation of the education services of ‘Day-Mer, Turkish and Kurdish Community Centre (Alessio D’Angelo, Alejandro Paniagua & Aygul Ozdemir, with Manuella Miele & Neil Kaye)
  • This partnership project between Middlesex University and Day-Mer Turkish and Kurdish Community Centre investigated the educational needs of Turkish and Kurdish children and families in London and discussed the role of community organisations in providing supplementary education and supporting schools in integrating these children.
  • Impacts, Challenges and Sustainability Issues of Supplementary Education in London. An evaluation of Paiwand education services (Prof. Louise Ryan, Alessio D’Angelo, Magdolna Lőrinc)
  • The research project aimed to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of the education services offered by Afghan Association Paiwand: supplementary classes for Afghan children, on one hand; and weekend school for children referred by their mainstream schools – who were not necessarily Afghan – on the other
  • Polish Pupils in London Schools: A Dissemination and Knowledge Exchange Project (funded by ESRC; grant holders: Prof. Louise Ryan and Alessio D’Angelo) – This research project commissioned by Multiverse provided resources to teacher educators and student teachers to promote the educational achievement of pupils from diverse backgrounds. The project explored the experience of Polish pupils in schools in London, focussing on a small number of schools which have a significant number of Polish pupils.


Drawing on this experience and expertise, the SPRC is now the UK partner in an EU funded project, involving 9 partner countries, investigating Reducing Early School Leaving in Europe. (UK Research Team: Prof Louise Ryan, Alessio D’Angelo, Neil Kaye, Magdolna Lőrinc). The European consortium, lead by Antwerp University, has been awarded a research grant of more than €6.4 million and will investigate the impact of early school leaving for a five year research project under the EU Framework 7 programme.

Prof. Ryan, Co-Director of the SPRC, said: “This is an important achievement for the Social Policy Research Centre and demonstrates its growing reputation as a site of research excellence. This research grant follows on from several other successes in recent years including ESRC grants, a prestigious KTP grant and other FP7 awards. It is the largest grant we have had to date, and marks an exciting start to our new location within the School of Law”.

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