The aim of this project was to better understand the nature of the process of integration and acquisition of citizenship, focusing on newly-arrived third country migrants – that is, people from outside the European Union. More specifically, it looked to increase the capacity of the UK to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate policies and measures for the integration of third country nationals through the provision of a substantial body of new data and analysis.
The project had the following objectives: 1) to examine the experience of recent arrivals who have taken the ‘Life in the UK test’ or an alternative route of studying English with a citizenship context; 2) to review the academic and policy literature that provides evidence on integration processes and the outcomes of initiatives to promote integration; and 3) to develop through a process of research and dialogue on the development of further indicators to assess progress of integration policies and inform government debates on future measures.
Dina Kiwan (Birkbeck)
European Fund for the Integration of Third Country Nationals
At the heart of this research was a survey of applicants for citizenship. This included both a large-scale quantitative survey and more focused qualitative interviews. It also involved two further small-scale samples, specifically of those who had not applied to become British citizens, who were identified by ‘snowballing’ from contacts made through various community groups and organisations, and a sample of policymakers/officials, which examined the nature of their involvement in the policy development process at national, devolved and local level, as well as their assessment of the context for the impetus for the citizenship ‘initiative’-across different policy domains.
Alongside this generation of new data, a thorough policy and literature review was used to improve understanding of the processes of integration, as well as to interrogate the ways in which policies have developed to promote it. The project also looked to develop indicators of integration, which would enable policy makers to monitor progress over time and in different contexts, thereby helping to inform the development and implementation of policy interventions. This aspect of the project considered quantitative indicators in order to measure the different dimensions of integration from economic participation through education, housing and health outcomes, to active citizenship and belonging and trans-national behaviour, including attitudes and behaviour of the host population towards third country nationals. It also considered the availability of data at national and local level and whether new data would be needed were those indexes to be used.