The Role of Social Capital in Refugees’ Trajectories into Higher Education in a Host Country: Narratives of Six Refugees in Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Identity and Migration Studies. 2020, 14(2), 71-90
Refugees, as group, are generally motivated to pursue higher education despite multiple challenges they face in host countries. To overcome these challenges refugees need someone to rely on to successfully navigate the higher education system in new environments. This article tries to explore what roles social capital plays in refugees’ trajectories into higher education in Norway. The study employs qualitative inquiry where six refugees are interviewed using a narrative interview. Based on a qualitative narrative interview with six refugees, I argue that three forms of social capital — boning, bridging, and linking — play both overlapping and specific roles in refugees’ access to higher education. Social capital in general helps refugees to get information on higher education and processes of getting documents recognised, motivation, and determination. Policymakers need to ensure that refugees access and utilise necessary resources such as relevant language courses without much reliance on good Samaritans.