Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Migration and validation of non-formal and informal learning in Europe: inclusion, exclusion or polarisation in the recognition of skills?

Souto-Otero, Manuel ORCID: and Villalba-Garcia, Ernesto 2015. Migration and validation of non-formal and informal learning in Europe: inclusion, exclusion or polarisation in the recognition of skills? International Review of Education 61 (5) , pp. 585-607. 10.1007/s11159-015-9516-7

[thumbnail of International Review of Education Validation.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview


This article explores (1) the degree to which immigrants can be considered dominant groups in the area of validation of non-formal and informal learning and are subject to specific validation measures in 33 European countries; (2) whether country clusters can be identified within Europe with regard to the dominance of immigrants in the area of validation; and (3) whether validation systems are likely to lead to the inclusion of immigrants or foster a process of “devaluation” of their skills and competences in their host countries. Based on the European Inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning project (chiefly its 2014 update) as well as a review of 124 EU-funded (Lifelong Learning Programme and European Social Fund) validation projects, the authors present the following findings: (1) in the majority of European countries, immigrants are not a dominant group in the area of validation. (2) In terms of country clusters, Central European and Nordic countries tend to consider immigrants a dominant target group for validation to a greater extent than Southern and Eastern European countries. (3) Finally, few initiatives aim to ensure that immigrants’ skills and competences are not devalued in their host country, and those initiatives which are in place benefit particularly those defined as “highly skilled” individuals, on the basis of their productive potential. There is, thus, a “low road” and a “high road” to validation, leading to a process of polarisation in the recognition of the skills and competences of immigrants

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: L Education > LF Individual institutions (Europe)
Additional Information: Updated version available - First online: 17 November 2015 This article is published with open access at This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher: Springer Verlag
ISSN: 0020-8566
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 23:26

Citation Data

Cited 13 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics