UCL is known for its involvement and its Centres for their expertise in the field of immigration. The university is particularly involved in the reception of refugees.
Not a day goes by without migration asking questions to universities and their researchers. The news in terms of flux and the better control of tools to evaluate them cause an emergence of new issues to be treated and innovative methods of analysis.
The questions are complex and require quality expertise, based on basic research but also on oriented or applied research. The number of calls for projects in this sector is growing, whether from public or private institutions or NGOs.
The transfer of competences in these matters to the European Union, combined upstream with United Nations initiatives and downstream with national policies, has multiplied decision-making places and therefore the need for analysis.
There is also a significant demand for information and understanding of the issues on the part of students and actors in the field, the media, policy makers and the general public.
The "refugee crisis" has accentuated this trend. Emergency responses, sometimes promptly revised, reinforce the need to study migration objectively to develop a rigorous scientific discourse.
This involves acute disciplinary expertise. It is developed at UCL in several institutes and research Centers through disciplines such as social and clinical psychology, public health, sociology, anthropology, demography, economics, law. These questions are also of interest to philosophers, political scientists, historians, biologists, geographers, doctors, and many other scientists. Migration issues cross university research.
The disciplinary approach is important but it is not sufficient to understand the complexity of the issues related to migration. It must be coupled with an interdisciplinary approach. It is in this context that the researchers at UCL federated their strengths and expertise in this area and created Louvain4Migration.