Topic: Forced migration and refugee health

Unaccompanied refugee minors resettling in Norway: Focusing on education, accommodation and care provisions (FUS)

Which factors may promote or inhibit unaccompanied refugee minors' development and learning opportunities in the resettlement and integration phase? There is a great need for research-based knowledge concerning unaccompanied refugee youth in the resettlement phase in general, and their schooling experiences in particular. Not least because we know that the dropout rate in secondary schools (including vocational training) is high among refugee youth. Seeing education as a key to creating a better future in Norway, it is crucial to gain an improved understanding of how young unaccompanied refugees under education are supported and encouraged - both in and out of school

2010 This project has been completed 2017

Project Manager

Project Members

  • Changezi, Sofie Haug
  • Aadnanes, Margrete
  • Hjorthol, Toril

Main objective

The study has the following objectives

  • To gain increased knowledge of existing education, accommodation and care arrangements for unaccompanied refugee youth in a variety of municipalities involved in resettlement
  • To get a better understanding of young unaccompanied refugees’ own experiences, needs and desires regarding education, housing and care when resettling 
  • To disclose initiatives and interventions that may promote or inhibit refugee youth’ opportunities to complete secondary education
  • To increase the involved professionals’ awareness of young unaccompanied refugees’ diverse and complex – educational as well as psychosocial – needs


Data will be collected by various methods

  • Case studies of existing education, accommodation and care facilities for unaccompanied refugee youth in three different municipalities
  • Qualitative, semi-structured interviews with a sample (40) of young unaccompanied refugees
  • Interviews with professionals involved in the educational, residential and care facilities available to young refugees
  • Document studies, i.e., content analysis of national and municipal documents concerning regulations, initiatives and provisions regarding unaccompanied refugees

Further information

The main project : 2010-2017 (Pilot project 2009)

The FUS study will be conducted over a seven-year period. In order to eleborate on the study’s research issues and to test the data collection methods, a pilot study was carried out during Autumn 2009. Three municipalities of varying sizes, and with different  experiences concerning resettlement of unacompanied refugees, participate in the main project.

Results from the study will be published as articles in national and international scientific journals, book chapters, master’s theses and a doctoral dissertation.

Through the support of Save the Children Norway, the project has been granted Extra funds from the Norwegian Foundation for Health and Rehabilitation for a doctoral research fellowship from June 2010. Furthermore, the project has received financial support from The Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi).


Pastoor, L. d. W. (2017). Reconceptualising refugee education: exploring the diverse learning contexts of unaccompanied young refugees upon resettlement. Intercultural Education, 28(2), 143-164. doi:10.1080/14675986.2017.1295572

Pastoor, L. d. W. (2016). Enslige unge flyktningers psykososiale utfordringer: behovet for en flyktningkompetent skole[ The psychosocial challenges faced by unaccompanied young refugees: the need for a refugee-competent school.] Norwegian only. In C. Øverlien, M. I. Hauge & J. H. Schultz (Red.) Barn, vold og traumer. Møter med unge i utsatte livssituasjoner. (pp. 200-219). Universitetsforlaget.

Pastoor, L. d. W. (2015). The mediational role of schools in supporting psychosocial transitions among unaccompanied young refugees upon resettlement in Norway. International Journal of Educational Development, 41, 245-254. doi:10.1016/j.ijedudev.2014.10.009

Pastoor, L. d. W. (2015). Unaccompanied young refugees – from uprooting to resettlement in Norway: The crucial role of schools in enhancing well-being, adaptation and integration.. Jeunes et mineurs en mobilité, 1(1), 21-34. doi:10.1016/j.ijedudev.2014.10.009

Pastoor, L. d. W. (2013). The decisive role of school in the lives of unaccompanied refugee minors in Norway. Siirtolaisuus-Migration, 40, 32-40.

Aadnanes, M., & Pastoor, L. d. W. (2013). Blir enslige mindreårige flyktninger diskriminert? En drøfting av deres rettigheter til omsorg etter bosetting[ Are unaccompanied refugee minors discriminated against? A discussion of their rights to care upon resettlement.] Norwegian only. Tidsskriftet Norges Barnevern, 90(1), 42-51.

Pastoor, L. d. W. (2012). Skolen – et sted å lære og et sted å være. In K. Eide (Red.) Barn på flukt: Psykososialt arbeid med enslige mindreårige flyktninger (pp. 219-240). Gyldendal Akademisk.