Education, Displacement, and Belonging

Education, Displacement, and Belonging (EDB) was established in 2022, with the overarching aim of addressing the fundamental questions that arise at the nexus of education and forced displacement.

Worldwide, the number of people who are forcibly displaced by conflict and natural disasters continues to rise, in 2022 reaching a record-high of over 100 million. Of these, around 40% are children. How should educators and education systems respond to this crisis of displacement? How does displacement impact our understanding of concepts like identity, belonging, justice, and inclusion— particularly from a pedagogical standpoint?

The EDB research group pursues research related to the following thematic areas:  

  • The purpose and aims of education in contexts of forced displacement;
  • Educational challenges and opportunities arising from an influx of refugee learners;
  • The lived experiences of learners and teachers, both during periods of displacement and upon resettlement or repatriation;
  • The quality and effectiveness of educational programs aimed at integrating children who have been displaced;
  • The (re)-conceptualizations of identity and belonging in displacement— and the role of education in shaping and addressing these.

We explore the above themes from a range of perspectives, including comparative, historical, philosophical, critical, cultural, and anthropological. Our research has a distinctive global outlook, encompassing contexts both in the Global North and the Global South.  

Our research group meets twice per term to share research progress, plan for relevant research conferences, and offer peer-reviews of members’ prospective publications. We also aim to organize one writing retreat for members each year.

The group welcomes researchers and Ph.D. students, both based at NLA University College and at other higher education institutions.  


Dr. Wills Kalisha, Associate Professor of Education, NLA (co-leader) 

Dr. Inga Støren, Associate Professor of Education, NLA (co-leader) 

Dr. Tomasz Szkudlarek, Professor of Education, NLA 

Ongoing projects:

Anthology: “Next-Gen Children: Educating with Newcomers in mind”  

  • Edited by Wills Kalisha and Tomasz Szkudlarek 
  • Expected to be published by Springer, 2023

Book/Monograph: “Higher Education for Refugees: A Pathway to Durable Solutions” 

  • Based on Inga Støren’s doctoral research in Rwanda
  • Expected to be published by Palgrave Macmillan, 2023

Chapter in anthology: “Vulnerable enough for inclusion? Unaccompanied minors’ experiences of vulnerability and trauma on their way to Norway”

  • Written by Wills Kalisha
  • Expected to be published by Routledge, 2023

Ph.D. course “Contested Identities in Displacement: Dilemmas for Global Refugee Education”  


Forskergruppens ledere: Wills Kalisha, Inga Støren
Prorektor for forskning og utvikling: Torgeir Landro