Exploring Gymnasielagen (New law on upper secondary education) from professionals’ perspective – A way to integrate or segregate?

University essay from Högskolan i Gävle/Avdelningen för socialt arbete och kriminologi; Högskolan i Gävle/Avdelningen för socialt arbete och kriminologi

Abstract: Swedish parliament in a bid to curb the large numbers of unaccompanied minors who are denied asylum status – came up with a law which is famously known as Gymnasielagen. The aim of the study was to explore how professionals in upper secondary schools setting and social services perceive the implementation of this law and how it contributes to integration of unaccompanied minors in Sweden concerning school environment.  Through semi structured interviews, professionals in contact with unaccompanied minors (UAMs) expressed their perception on the Gymnasielagen and its impacts on the lives of UAMs. The advantages and disadvantages of the law together with its contribution to integration of UAMs were investigated.  The results showed that the law renewed hope for UAMs and gave them the chance to start life afresh after the long wait for asylum. There were however significant discrepancies in the law that makes it difficult for UAMs. The condition to get permanent employment after school completion does not seem achievable and puts pressure on them. They are forced to choose courses from a limited number of technical courses that would possibly get them permanent employment.  Integration was also found not to be optimum because of uncertainty among the UAMs.

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