Docent Ismail Abdirashid Abdi

147400 €

The Pathfinders: Increased Social Mobility of Second-Generation Finnish-Somalis

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Nelivuotinen

The Pathfinders is a multidisciplinary project that aims to turn the tide by scrutinizing how education policy, students' aspirations and attitudes, teachers’ understanding and attitude, and parental capital have contributed to the success of second-generation Finnish-Somalis who beat the odds and attained their educational aspirations. The Finnish education system is known internationally for its outstanding quality and for its provision of quality education to all. However, its success is less certain in ensuring equal opportunity for second-generation immigrant students, the proportion of whom in Finland do not have post-primary education qualifications is the highest among the OECD countries. Finnish-Somalis, the fastest-growing population group in Finnish schools, are faring the worst in this gap. Despite their major challenges, the number of second-generation Finnish-Somalis succeeding in getting a higher education is growing. This project seeks to: 1. Understand the mechanisms of upward mobility of these small but emerging groups of pioneers who has successfully climbed the ladder to overcome major challenges obstructing their pathways to higher education and professional careers 2. Inform public policy regarding what has worked for second-generation Finnish-Somalis 3. Help change the public image of the Somali community, and 4. Provide Finnish-Somali children and youth with the opportunity to have positive, relatable role models in their immediate environments. Thus, the Pathfinders has the potential to contribute to the creation of cohesive and robust society in Finland, at an era of unhelpful tension.