Prof. Pleios, could you describe in brief the identity of programme?
Yes, of course. The MSc in “Media and Refugee/Migration Flows” is an intensive postgraduate programme taught in English at the Department of Communication and Media Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in cooperation with the Department of Sociology of the University of the Aegean in two (2) academic semesters and includes a Summer School in Mytilene, Lesvos. The students can choose one of the two specializations of the programme, a) "media coverage of the refugee/migration flows", and b) “Communication management of refugee/migration flows”. The first specialization allows students to focus on gaining an in-depth knowledge of the presentation of the so-called "refugee crisis" in mass media and to examine the role of new technolgies, social media and the use of ICT. The second specialization is directed towards those working for non-profit and non-governmental organisation with activities related to migration, as well as civil servants.
During the two-weeks workshops and seminars of the Summer School students are strongly encouraged to concentrate on the preparation of their thesis with the possibility to conduct field research, interviews and clearly define relevant case studies.
Successful students are awarded a Master of Science (MSc) degree.
What exactly will the student do in Lesvos and why do they have to continue the programme on the island after the two semesters in Athens?
As you perhaps know the island Lesvos and its capital Mytilene is one of the main gateways of the EU for the refugees and the migrants from Near East, Asia and other regions. About 1.500.000 people passed the EU's external border in 2015 via the Aegean islands, especially via Lesvos. Since then, thousands of refugees and migrants continue to enter the country and EU through the island. A RIC campus (Moria Immigration Detention Center, also known as "hotspot") and many other campuses (refugee camps) have emerged on the island; hundreds of various specialists work in various organizations attempting to deal with the problem.
Our students will have the chance to attend seminars prepared by representatives of organizations, such as UNHCR-Greece, Doctors of the World, Solidarity Now, Praksis, Arsis, Iliachtida, Greek Council for Refugees, UNICEF and many others. After that our students will have the unique opportunity to collaborate closely with these participating organization in the framework of an internship programme for almost 50 days. Students will be able to gain practical insights into the everyday working conditions of these organisations, which will support them to link their theoretical knowledge and skills with the actual situation in the field.
In this way, they will complete a full cycle of theoretical education. as well as research and empirical training, and hence, they will acquire a complete and accurate knowledge related to the refugee / migrant flows and profound awareness to critically examine related subjects.
How you could define the “philosophy” the rationale of the programme?
The programme aims to provide students with interdisciplinary expertise on the contemporary presentation of the refugee/migration subject and to gain an in-depth understanding of related media coverage. It is designed for students aspiring to adapt skills and competencies on communication management for a career in “old” or “new” media, within the public, private, or non-profit sector. Graduates will be equipped with substantive academic knowledge on the social and political implications of cross-border refugee / migration flows, adapt critical research skills and are able to improve their linguistic competences.
Could you tell us more about those two specializations you mentioned?
Yes, with a great pleasure.
The “News media of refugee flows" specialization focus on the need to gain an in-depth knowledge on news coverage of refugee / migration flows over the last decade in Greece and in the Western Balkan countries, the relationship between new technologies and journalism, the formation of European and national policies on social inclusion, the exploitation of social networks by international organizations, host countries, the use of social networks sites by the target group (refugees / immigrants), the ways of ICT use from both sides (host and country of origin), human networks and their influences, social solidarity networks, the various movements at national and European level and the way they are presented by the mass media at national, European and international level;
The second specialization "Communication management of refugee/migration flows", which will present cases related to European and national policies for the socio-economic integration of refugees /immigrants, their presentation in the mass media, the possibilities of raising funds and presenting good practices, as well as address issues of public relations, two-way communication process and development of relationships between the organizations and communities (refugees/migrants) and analyze ways of communicating the problems and barriers regarding the inclusion or refoulement where it is necessary and the ways and techniques of approaching such subjects will be analyzed within the course.
Both specializations actively facilitate the interaction with academics from Europe and beyond, established professionals, such as journalists, reporters, public employees, and representatives of NGOs active in the field. A summer school held in Mytilene on the Greek island Lesvos provides students with the unique opportunity to research and exchange with NGOs active in the Hotspot via a range of workshops, seminars and events. It will offer students with personal and professional competencies and experiences required in the field of media, research and refugee/migration management.
In the beginning of our discussion you mentioned that is an original innovative MSc. programme. Could you explain us please what you mean?
Yes. When we started the preparation of the programme about a year ago, our research showed that there was only a very limited amount of postgraduate programmes in this field within the EU. Also, there were no programmes focusing on the media and communication dimensions of the issue i.e. media coverage and communication management of the flows.
We are saying that our programme is innovative and the students have the opportunity to study and practicing exactly in the region where the flows are so distinct from a quantitative and a qualitative point of view.
It is, let me say, a programme that it takes place in its “natural laboratory”.
Prof. Pleios, the Dean Prof. Spourdalakis, Dr Savvatou Tsolakidou, Dr. Chalkia and the students (Academic Year 2019-2020)
For more information please visit the programmes website: https://migromedia.gr/
Please feel free to contact us:
Department of Postgraduate Studies
1 Sophocleous Str., 105 59 Athens
1st floor, Rooms: 104, 110 and 115
Tel.: 0030 210 3689291, 210 3689290, 210 3689444
Call for Applications (Academic Year 2019-2020)