Significant funding for Finnish research on immigration

A research team led by Mari Vaattovaara, Professor of Urban Geography, reviews the problematics of immigration in the Nordic countries, with a particular focus on questions related to immigrant housing .

Mari Vaattovaara

The international ERA-NET NORFACE project has awarded two million euros in funding for research activity led by Professor Mari Vaattovaara.

Vaattovaara's research team inspects immigration problems in the Nordic countries with a particular focus on immigrant housing.

“The Nordic welfare model has been established on the terms of a homogeneous working society.”

“Our aim is to find out how an environment like this can promote the establishment of a multi-cultural society,” says Vaattovaara.

“It was great that we made it through such intensive screening. A total of 240 projects applied for funding. Out of these, 12 were received support.”

The NORFACE project, coordinated by the Academy of Finland, intends to develop funding cooperation between scientific organisations. The project is participated in by funding parties throughout Europe.

Vaattovaara says that she took a risk, since EU funding is usually awarded only to projects dealing with the core countries of Europe.

“In the end, the narrow focus was an advantage for us, since immigration problems have not yet been studied on this scale in welfare countries,” says Vaattovaara.

The research project will last four years, and be conducted in four parts. In the first stage, the research team will compare the immigration differences between Nordic countries – for example, in Finland the flow of immigrants started to increase in the 1990s, but the same phenomenon was experienced in Sweden already decades earlier.

For the second part, the researchers will study individual immigrant groups and their housing paths. Later on, the researchers will conduct a survey of the original population and immigrants, and finally interview immigrant groups.

“I hope that after four years, we will have a lot of analytical information on how immigration shapes regional structures in the Nordic countries,” says Vaattovaara.

Urban Geography »»

Author: Saku Schildt
Photo: UH
9.3.2010
Translation: AAC Noodi oy

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