WATCH: Aberystwyth University Migration Workshop

December 2023 | Arfor, Featured, Rural policy

aerial view of city near body of water during daytime

Aberystwyth University’s Centre for Welsh Politics and Society have published a video of a recent workshop that looked at the topic of out-migration.

As part of their joint work with Wavehill on the research and learning stream of the ARFOR programme, the team in Aberystwyth University have organised a series of events in order to discuss the different elements that need to be considered when thinking about communities in the north and west of Wales with a specific focus on out-migration. On 3 November 2023, the ‘ARFOR, out-migration and the Welsh Language’ meeting was held, which saw presentations by various contributors across several academic disciplines discussing their work in the context of ARFOR’s objectives and the motivations and reasons people give for leaving the communities in which they were raised.

A week later on 10 November 2023 a virtual session was held, led by Dr Elin Royles. The aim of the session was to place the Welsh experience, and the ideas that inform the ARFOR programme, in an international context by comparing some areas in Wales with other comparable areas in terms of economy, demographics and geography, such as the Scottish islands the Irish Countryside and parts of the Netherlands and Germany.

After an introduction to the Welsh context and the ARFOR programme by Dr Elin Royles, there was a presentation by Dr Caitrione Ni Laoire titled ‘Outmigration and return mobilities in contemporary rural Ireland’. There was then a presentation on the situation on the Scottish Islands by Dr Rosie Alexander from the University of the West of Scotland who looked at careers as a consideration for young people who stay and move away.

Following a break there was a presentation by Tialda Haartsen, Professor of Rural Geography in Groningen University in the Netherlands. The presentation by Professor Haartsen looked at the case of the Netherland and focused on the active choices made by young people as they decide their future. There was then a presentation by Annett Steinführer from the Thünen Rural Studies Institute in Germany to discuss the situation there. A recording of all the presentations along with question and answer sessions held during the workshop can all be accessed here.

The meeting was a valuable opportunity for those studying this field and drafting policy to hear experiences from across Europe, in order to understand what countries have in common and compare different interventions and methods of measuring internal migration and its effects on local economies and societies. Aberystwyth University will be holding more events looking at the ARFOR programme in the new year, keep a look out on Arsyllfa to hear the latest.

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