Research on Migration and Asylum

Exhibition & Findings

University of Glasgow academics are about to present their preliminary findings at an award-winning international photographic exhibition. For a preview of our event, please click here.

Research findings are based on 1,511 face-to-face interviews with young Syrian international protection beneficiaries and applicants, 18-32 years old, which were conducted in the UK, Lebanon and Greece, between April and October 2017, exploring their values, skills, training needs and work aspirations. Representative surveys of home populations were also administered about their own aspirations and ideals, their attitudes to refugees, and their priorities for refugee policies.

Headline findings include:

* Young Syrian refugees in the UK have the highest levels of skills and training, and are most eager to remain and contribute to their host economy, compared with Syrian refugees in Greece and in Lebanon;

* Around two-thirds of young Syrian refugees in Britain are either in work or studying. A majority of them identifies language as the main barrier to labour market access;

* Young Syrian refugees in the UK are much better supported than those in Greece or Lebanon;

* While refugees everywhere face some hostile attitudes, Syrian refugees in the UK report less discrimination than their fellows elsewhere;

* Young Syrians and citizens in the UK have a diversity of views about religion, politics, and personal morality, but share opinions about what is most valuable for a good life. This counters the narrative that migration poses a problem because of incompatibility with 'Western' or 'British' values: in fact there is substantial common ground.

* When the refugees were asked what they would like to say to Britons, one said: “We have the skills and education needed to start a new life and to help further improve this country, so we are just asking you to have faith in us, in our abilities and good intentions”.

* Another said: “Tolerance and acceptance of the “Other” needs courage and compassion, two traits British citizens have often shown. Therefore, please give Syrians the helping hand in the time of need.”

These and many more results will be revealed at an Exhibition to be held at the Lighthouse (Gallery 4) in central Glasgow (11 Mitchel Lane; G1 3NU), from Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th April (10:30 am to 5 pm). The Exhibition comprises two main parts and entrance is free to all:

  • The Journey: People on the Move is an exhibition originally held in 2016 at Benaki Museum in Athens, co-organized by SolidarityNow, a Greek NGO aiming to support those most affected by the economic and humanitarian crisis in Greece. 8 renowned photographers/photo-journalists from Greece captured the Journey, the route all these people took in the past year as they had to flee their countries. The images trace their journey from Turkey to Greece, with the borders as their final destination, hoping to reach a safe haven in Europe. The exhibition invites the public to travel through the photographs. These testimonies of international photographers aim to familiarize a larger public with this harsh reality confronted every day by thousands of people seeking to reclaim their right to a life with security for themselves and their families.

  • The Arrival: Young Syrian Refugees in Britain presents the original research findings of the “Building Futures: Aspirations of Syrian Youth Refugees and Host Population Responses in Lebanon, Greece and the UK’ research project. Visitors will have the chance to engage in an interactive way with the findings, enriching their understanding of refugee politics in Britain, in a comparative context. They will also have the chance to learn about the project team, and about the stories of Syrian refugees resettled in Glasgow by the British Red Cross (with some photographs by Conor Ashleigh).