Study Week “Schweizer Jugend Forscht/La Science Appelle les Jeunes”. An Epilog.

From 1924 October 2015 members of the nccr – on the move offered a study week on the current refugee crisis in Europe for Swiss high school students.

The project offered by the nccr – on the move addressed the ongoing debate on the refugee crisis in Europe. It was convened in the framework of the study week in humanities and social sciences organized by “Schweizer Jugend Forscht/La Science Appelle les Jeunes”. The four participants from the cantons of Aargau, Luzern, Waadt and St. Gallen were able to get a first insight into researching migration issues. In a first step, basic knowledge about international refugee law, the institutional set-up of the Schengen/Dublin system as well as EU migration policy, Swiss asylum policy, children’s’ rights in migration law and an introduction to negotiation theories was presented by fellows of the NCCR. Based on this knowledge, the students were assigned a specific country (Germany, Switzerland, Poland and Greece) and were asked to carry out research on the migration policies of their respective country.


The students then simulated a negotiation at the European level, addressing specifically the questions of increasing border control to prevent irregular migration and the improvement of protection standards for asylum seekers using the example of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in the Schengen/Dublin area. The negotiations showed just how difficult it is to reach a consensus on these highly controversial questions among governments that are characterized by strongly divergent interests and preoccupations – especially when the discussions move from a general commitment to shared principles, such as increasing security and human rights protection for a vulnerable population to concrete measures and financial contributions. Moreover, the tension between these two core principles that are situated at the core of European policy in this area became apparent in the debate. The results of these negotiations were then presented as a poster and with a presentation at the closing event of the study week on Saturday in Zurich.


The week was characterized by many lively debates, thoughtful questions and great discussions and provided an interesting environment to discuss a very current topic with a highly motivated young group of high school students. It provided an opportunity for the NCCR fellows to strengthen their teaching skills and to present their knowledge in a nutshell to the students.

The organisational team would like to thank Jyothi Kanics, Didier Leyvraz and Aronne Watkins for their great presentations.

Philip Hanke, PostDoc on the project The Law and Economics of Migration Policy
Stefanie Tamara Kurt, doctoral student on the project Unity and Diversity in Cohesion: The Concept of Integration in a Changing World
Eva Zschirnt, doctoral student on the project Discrimination as an Obstacle to Social Cohesion
Nicole Wichmann, Network Officer