Centre Overview

The Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) is a research centre at the University of Oxford. Since 2003, COMPAS has established an international reputation for original research and policy relevance. It undertakes multi-disciplinary research, publication, teaching, and user engagement with many academic and non-academic users worldwide.

COMPAS research covers a spectrum of global migration processes and phenomena, from conditions in places of migrant origins to institutions and activities affecting mobility to social and economic effects in receiving contexts.

COMPAS has over 20 staff members from various backgrounds and is actively involved in many international networks and projects. COMPAS is based within the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography and maintains strong links with departments across the University of Oxford.

Mission and aims

The mission of COMPAS is to conduct high-quality research to develop theory and knowledge, train the next generation of academics and policymakers on migration, inform policy-making and public debate, and engage users of research within the field of migration.

In line with this overall mission statement, our aims are:

  • Academic advancement: reflecting and advancing theory, methods and multi-disciplinary understanding in the field of Migration Studies; contributing new empirical data; and supporting international collaborations and publications in the field of migration.
  • Teaching: offering graduate programmes on migration at the masters and doctoral levels; offering expert training for policymakers and others interested in migration issues; and building capacity among migration researchers and practitioners.
  • Informing policy-making and public debate: providing evidence and analysis to policymakers and the wider public and facilitating knowledge exchange and collaboration with relevant policymakers.
  • Facilitating knowledge exchange with research users: establishing reciprocal relationships with individuals and organisations with experience of migration, including migrants and their organisations, government, business, international organisations, and third sector and civil society organisations.
  • Maintaining long-term sustainability: operating efficiently as a centre and ensuring a diversified funding base that allows undertaking a long-term mission and vision.