Our Master’s alumna Claire Tan Sze Eng has won the best thesis award at the Dutch Demography Day 2021 for her dissertation entitled, ‘Returning to a home without a future: The effect of migrant trajectories and experiences on the reintegration of Albanian rejected asylum-seekers’.
Based on some 40 in-depth interviews carried out under the EU-funded ADMIGOV project in the first quarter of 2020, the study found strong intersectionality between economic, psychological and security reintegration outcomes – i.e. barriers to reintegration functioned in a mutually-reinforcing manner. Overall, the author recommended earlier interventions in the migration cycle, with a view to aiding migration expectations, trajectories and subsequent fulfilment.
The jury said: “In this very well-written thesis, Claire Sze Eng Tan conducted a thorough analysis of an understudied yet highly relevant topic in the social and political debate: the return of rejected asylum-seekers and their reintegration. Based on an extensive literature review, she developed a strong analytical framework to analyse semi-structured interviews conducted with returnee Albanian asylum-seekers… allowing her to produce innovative insights into the factors at play before, during and after their return to their origin country. In her study she identifies and disentangles complex links between the economic, psychological and security dimensions of these migrants’ trajectory – and, at the same time, offers insights on a human level of their perceptions and aspirations. Furthermore, the thesis gives ample attention to policy recommendations. We congratulate Claire for this well-deserved award!”
Alumna Claire Tan Sze Eng said: “I could not have completed this without the support and push from the wonderful professors and researchers at UNU-MERIT. The pandemic meant that original data collection was highly impossible, and my original thesis proposal became obselete. Dr. Katie Kuschminder used her expertise and agility to guide me through developing a new thesis study within a very short period of time. Furthermore, essential support from Ms. Talitha Dubow helped push my data analysis and comprehension to a higher level. The supportive staff at UNU-MERIT has been undoubtedly nurturing in my intellectual growth and played a core role in winning this award.”
The opinions expressed here are the authors’ own; they do not necessarily reflect the views of UNU.
Claire Tan Sze Eng