Migration and Ethnic Relations

Participating Faculties: Social Science (Host)

Project Leaders: Victoria Esses, Roderic Beaujot and Belinda Dodson

Total Project Funding:  $104,000

Funding Period: 3 years

The proposed Western Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations will facilitate research and training that draws on academic knowledge to inform public policy and practice in Canada and internationally. The goals of the project are to foster interdisciplinary research among faculty and students on questions of direct relevance to migration and ethnic relations, provide training opportunities for students beyond the borders of their own discipline and Western, and forge links with policy makers, the academic community in Canada and internationally, and the community at large.

As worldwide migration climbs to historically unprecedented levels and instances of ethnic conflict fill the headlines, research and training in migration and ethnic relations are increasingly important endeavours. Research is required to inform policy and practices that will ensure that the challenges of managing migration and diversity are successfully met, in ways that facilitate the well-being of immigrants and ethnic minorities, that elicit the support of all members of society, and that ensure that nations benefit collectively. The training of highly skilled personnel is required not only to conduct such research, but to ensure that the lessons we learn from it are implemented effectively. The proposed Centre will inform policy and practice on migration and ethnic relations through the interdisciplinary research conducted under the auspices of the proposed Centre, the establishment of links with policy-makers and practitioners, and a biennial conference and book series. The project will increase and enhance education through the newly formed Collaborative Graduate Program in Migration and Ethnic Relations, which will train graduate students in interdisciplinary research and implementation, and through links with the Undergraduate Minor in Refugee and Migrant Studies. These initiatives will establish the proposed Western Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations as a leader in Canada and internationally.