Transformation of schooling in rural areas – Educational provision for new migrants in the German-Danish border region

Authors: Holger Jahnke*, Europa-Universität Flensburg, Magdalena Jäger, Europa-Universität Flensburg, Katja Holz, Europa-Universität Flensburg
Topics: Migration, Social Geography, Rural Geography
Keywords: education, local integration, privatization
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: 8224, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In many peripheral areas, the existence of public educational provision is threatened by demographic decline and consequently shrinking numbers of pupils. As a reaction many states withdraw from their obligation to locally provide adequate educational offers, by shifting the responsibility from the national to the local level. As a consequence many public schools have been closed or taken over by non-state school providers, private companies or parents’ asscociations, eventually leading to a privatization of educational provision in rural areas.
The arrival of new migrants in Europe since 2015 has interrupted the demographic decline in many peripheral municipalities. At the same time a new demand for educational offers has been created – especially language and integration courses. Even though the participation in these courses is usually imposed by the state, they are not provided by the national education systems, but by non-state educational providers, non-governmental organizations, private associations or local volunteers.

In the presentation we will analyze how the arrival of refugees in rural areas and the mobilization of new non-state actors and volunteers has impacted on the existing educational landscapes in rural areas in the German-Danish border region. Methodologically we apply a comparative perspective on two municipalities on both sides of the border in the context of their respective national regulations and multilevel governance structures.
The paper is part of a broader research project which focusses on the access to education and participation opportunities for young refugees in rural border regions in Germany and Denmark.

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