The Directorate General Joint Research Centre of the European Commission has published a study aimed at mapping and analysing Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and Free Digital Learning (FDL) for the inclusion of migrants and refugees.

The study has so far created an online catalogue of MOOCs which are separated in to the following categories:

  • Language learning
  • Teacher training
  • Primary/Secondary education
  • Higher education (formal)
  • Social inclusion
  • Employment
  • Infrastructure

The study has also led to the creation of a separate page with links to other resources such as non-targeted MOOCs and non-structured learning opportunities which may be of use for migrants and refugees looking for digital education.

As highlighted in the ETUCE Policy Paper on “The 21st Century Teaching Profession and the Use of ICT”, “MOOCs bear the risk of a highly monopolised market” and can be misused to promote commercialisation in the education sector, to reduce public funding and to increase managerial control over teachers and academic staff. Commercialisation of education undermines the interests of both migrants and refugees seeking access to education and of teachers and education personnel wanting to provide this. To prevent the misuse of MOOCs, teachers as experts for teaching and learning and their trade unions, as experts for professional development and social dialogue, should be involved in processes of implementation of e-learning-tools and programmes.

Whilst the attention given to improving education access for migrants and refugees is a welcome step, the European Commission should in future work closely with education trade unions on projects such as this Given the vital role teachers and other education personnel play in the provision of education for migrants and refugees, the Joint Research Centre should ensure that their views and knowledge of are taken in to account In order to guarantee a better implementation and realistic approach.

To visit the MOOCS 4 INCLUSION website, click here.