Migration and Asylum (Foundation Course)

31 October-11 December 2018 (E07118) | Closed
Instructor: Frank Elbers

We live in an age of migration. The world has been witnessing the biggest human displacement since the World War II. While millions of people in need of international protection are on the move, states are developing strategies to keep their borders closed to unwanted migration in favour of their labour market needs and welfare provisions. On the other hand, the claims of transnational migrants are on the rise on a global scale but we still see the restrictions on migrants and asylum seekers’ rights both at the national and the international level. Migration is a historical phenomenon at the crossroads of a number of issues such as sovereignty, security, inequality, discrimination, integration, citizenship and human rights. The issue itself is a concern of politicians, policy makers, practitioners and societies at large. Although the share of migrants in the world population has not drastically changed over time, the global governance of migration has transformed into a new level.

This certificate course introduces its participants to main concepts, theoretical issues and current discussions in the field of migration and asylum. The course aims to present an overview of contemporary migrations and refugee movements in the world while acknowledging the global, regional and national frameworks for its governance. Actors, institutions and regulations will be the main focus of the course in order to understand and analyze their relations and interdependence. We understand migration as a socially complex phenomenon. We will hence cover diverse forms of migration such as regular, irregular and forced movements and the specific reasons why people choose to move.

Course structure

This e-learning course involves approximately 30 hours of reading, on-line working groups, interaction among students and instructors, webinars, quizzes and a writing assignment, and is offered over a six-week period. The course will integrate active and participatory learning approaches within activities and assignments, with an emphasis on reflective and collaborative learning. The maximum number of course participants is 25. Students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Participation. It is also possible to audit the course.

Course outline

Week 1. Main Concepts in Migration Studies
Week 2. Theories of Migration
Week 3. Forced Migration and Refugees
Week 4. Migration, Precarious Work and Rights
Week 5. International Migration and Social Justice
Week 6. Civil Society, Social Movements and Migration

About the instructor: Frank Elbers

Frank ElbersFrank Elbers is a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World at Lebanese American University in Beirut. He teaches professional development courses for humanitarian workers and NGOs who are part of the Syria Crisis Response and conducts research on refugees and changing gender dynamics in urban contexts. He has more than 25 years of experience in development and human rights in post-communist Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and West Africa. Before moving to Lebanon Frank was Executive Director of Human Rights Education Associates (HREA) for seven years. He joined HREA in 1998 and have been an instructor and trainer for courses and workshops on human rights-based programming, monitoring women’s human rights, gender mainstreaming, and the human rights of (forced) migrants for many years. Frank has published on anti-immigrant political parties, migration and citizenship, migrant politics and integration policies in the Netherlands, the United States, West Africa and the Middle East/North Africa.

Who should apply

The course is aimed at practitioners and professionals who want to gain knowledge in the field of (im)migration and asylum, government officials (local and national level) dealing with migration and migration-related issues; staff of inter-governmental organisations such as the IOM and UNHCR; NGO staff members and service providers; and students of law, international relations, politics and social science. Participants should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use. Human Rights Campus aims to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution across the selected participants. The maximum number of course participants is 25. It also possible to audit the course. A Certificate of Participation will be awarded upon successful completion of the course.


Tuition fee for participants: € 345; tuition for auditors€ 135. Payments can be made online with major credit cards (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa), PayPal and bank transfer. Bulk rates are available. Payments are due upon registration.

How to register

Registration for this course is now closed. The course will be offered again in 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about HREA’s e-learning courses.