Ireland, the land of scholars…

Left Central interview Professor Louise Ryan

Image © Alegri, Romania.

In the years since the collapse of the Celtic Tiger economy there has been a significant increase in Irish migration to Britain. However, little is known about the experiences of these ‘post-Celtic tiger’, ‘post-Peace Agreement’ migrants.  How might their experiences differ from earlier waves of Irish migrants to Britain?  There is some anecdotal evidence that more Irish people are arriving in Britain to take up professional occupations.

In an attempt to gain a deeper insight into the experiences of migrants who have arrived since 2008 a study is to be carried out by the Social Policy Research Centre, at Middlesex University, in partnership with the Federation of the Irish Societies. This study will focus on teachers. Irish teachers in Britain are an under-researched group but there is some anecdotal evidence that their numbers are increasing (Irish Post newspaper, 26.02.13).

Through an on-line survey, in-depth interviews and a focus group this project aims:

To examine the needs, attitudes and experiences of this group – in particular their sense of Irishness, connections to Ireland, involvement in Irish networks and/ or organisations in Britain including cultural engagement, their migration trajectories, career aspiration, family strategies and future plans for settlement or return

The findings of the study will be published in a report and other academic papers and will be used to inform the policy initiatives and funding applications of the Federation of Irish Societies.

The project has been given ethical approval by the Middlesex University Ethics Committee.  All participants will be anonymized and all materials will be stored on a password protected computer to safeguard confidentiality. In order to gain further information about this study Professor Ryan kindly agreed to answer a few questions about the forthcoming study. Read more of this post

Social Democracy is dead but not for the Golden Generation…

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Don`t let me hear you say that life is taking you nowhere…Golden Years

I recently spent the day at a surprise birthday party held in honour of my partners ninety- year old Aunt. Travelling to the venue we listened to the depressing news concerning UK housing. It was reported that millions of people are struggling to cover their rents/mortgages, an estimated one million reliant on short term loans each month. This issue weighed heavily on my mind during a discussion at the party with a retired Head-teacher who said to me:

“I belong to the golden generation we had it all, we missed the war but drew all of the massive benefits from the Keynesian/Beveridge post war settlement. Meaning a grant aided education culminating in guaranteed employment post graduation. When I was a young teacher there were job adverts everywhere, pinned on the staffroom notice board pleading with you to leave your current job and go to another. I was of course able to take up my first post without debt, the very thought of having a debt was anathema to my generation. Housing was available with excellent local authority stock to choose and if you didn’t want to go into a council house then mortgage`s were an option and easily obtained because of your professional standing. My generation experienced the liberalisation of the 1960s, the end of deference, the freeing up of society a huge social and cultural shift. We had it all and now in retirement we have full pensions, live in lovely homes that we own outright, we are indeed the golden generation…” Read more of this post

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