The beginnings of the "coLAB" project

Sophie Henrard, coordinator of the International Exchanges Office, and Hélène Pochet, director of the "coLAB", visited London College of Communication to attend the inaugural meeting for the project "coLAB - A laboratory for new forms of collaboration"

On the agenda: work sessions and meetings with actors in the field

Two months after their first meeting at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, the project partners met in London to share their progress and to prepare a strategy for organising and evaluating the teaching activities during this project.

These two days of work were punctuated by the appearances of facilitators in the integration of refugees. Noori Zabihullah and Temesghen Debesai, two journalists who fled persecution in their home countries, spoke about their journeys and the difficulties they encountered upon arrival on English soil. They are very positive about the coLAB project. As Noori Zabihullah puts it, "The project could help build understanding in terms of our reputation and social status back home, and can make students understand the refugee’s situation in a broader context. With better understanding about refugees, students can open up to them and that in turn will speed up the integration process for refugees, which can lead to a more harmonious society".

Imogen Pursch, coordinator of the Breaking Barriers association, which supports the professional integration of refugees, spoke about the challenge of entering the job market for refugees and about the legal issues to be taken into account by the project partners.


 Image by Unai Mateo Lopez, London College of Communication


Start of the projet

The first phase of the coLAB project, which runs from April to September 2018, aims to identify potential participants through the support of associations, NGOs and refugee communities. The participants will deliver courses and workshops in the various partner institutions during the 2018-2019 academic year.

The next meeting is scheduled for September in Rome. The teaching activities will be implemented locally by the partner institutions as of the 2018 academic year.

Tell me more about "coLAB"

"coLAB - A laboratory for new forms of collaboration" is a project initiated by IHECS, in partnership with the London College of Communication (London), l’Université Clermont Auvergne (Clermont-Ferrand) and LUMSA (Rome).

"coLAB" seeks to promote a global school/community approach and aims to improve the social integration of migrants and refugees in the university environment. This activity will result in the creation of a good practice manual on the integration of migrants and refugees as teachers and experts in higher education institutions.

Following the selection of the project by the Council of Europe as part of the bid for DISCO - democratic and inclusive school culture in operation - projects, Sophie Henrad, coordinator of the International Exchanges Office at IHECS and Hélène Pochet, director of the "coLAB" were invited to Strasbourg to attend the launch conference of the two projects selected from among 29 projects submitted.

To follow the project, please use Twitter @coLAB_DISCO

coLAB is a project supported by the joint programme of the Council of Europe and the European Union as part of the bid for Democratic and Inclusive School Culture in Operation (DISCO) Projects.