Celebrating 5 Years of Social Exclusion Master’s Program at Åbo Akademi University: A Journey of Inclusivity and Innovation

By Islam Sabry


As we commemorate the 5th anniversary of the Social Exclusion Master’s Program at Åbo Akademi University, we reflect on the transformative journey from its inception to its current standing as a beacon of inclusivity and social change. We had the opportunity to connect with key figures who played pivotal roles in shaping the program — Peter Nynäs, the Faculty of Arts, Theology, and Psychology Dean, and Aminkeng A. Alemanji, the head of the Social Exclusion Master’s Program.

A Vision Transformed into Reality: Insights from Peter Nynäs

In our correspondence with Peter Nynäs, the first head of the program, we delved into the early days when the idea of the Master’s Degree Programme in Social Exclusion was taking shape. The decision to start the program was initiated by the Åbo Akademi University board in August 2017, marking a significant milestone as the first international program in the Faculty of Arts, Psychology, and Theology.

Fostering an Interdisciplinary Approach

The collaborative efforts of the history subject, studies of religion, gender studies, and systematic theology resulted in a program that aimed to bring together diverse resources for research and teaching. The interdisciplinary approach was underlined by a commitment to humanities, emphasizing the relevance of education and research in addressing societal issues from a global perspective.

Peter Nynäs notes that while the initial proposal had a different name, the emergence of the name ‘Social Exclusion Master’s Program’ resulted from the fact that similar concerns and topics were at the core of both academic and societal programs on social exclusion, hence, the name of the program. The establishment of the program also played a pivotal role in strengthening the Minority Research Profile, fostering a harmonious balance between research and education.

At the heart of the Social Exclusion Master’s Program’s inception was a profound understanding that social and cultural futures, alongside economic and political development, are intricately woven into diverse cultural processes that span both local and global dimensions. Guided by this foundational principle, the program took decisive steps to materialize its ambitions. Initiatives were set in motion to commence the program, securing teaching resources beyond initial plans, and ultimately welcoming the first group of students. This strategic approach marked the beginning of a journey dedicated to exploring, understanding, and addressing the complexities of social exclusion on a global scale.

Milestones and Achievements: Aminkeng A. Alemanji’s Perspective

In our correspondence with Aminkeng Alemanji, the current head of the Social Exclusion Master’s Program, we gained insights into the major milestones and achievements of the program. He highlighted the journey from an idea conceived by Peter Nynäs to the program’s realization.

What Sets SoEx Apart

Alemanji underscores the uniqueness of the Social Exclusion Master’s Program. Not only is it committed to social justice as a remedy for social exclusion, but its vibrant curriculum, taught by outstanding teachers from around the world, is what sets it apart. Graduates leave not only with academic knowledge but also with valuable work-life skills.

Being a multidisciplinary MA program, SoEx offers students a chance to explore different perspectives on social exclusion, fostering a broad understanding of this complex subject. The program’s emphasis on unity and familial bonds among students contributes to a supportive learning environment.

Evolving with the Times and Addressing Changing Needs

The program’s growth is evident in the increasing number of students. Starting with a modest number in the first year, the program now boasts 35 students, showcasing its appeal and relevance. Alemanji emphasizes that SoEx was the first program at ÅAU to abandon the rigid language requirement policy to a more forward-thinking and equitable language policy exemplifying the program’s commitment to inclusivity.

Aminkeng A. Alemanji also discussed how the program has evolved to meet the changing needs of students and society. Graduates returning as program assistants have provided valuable insights for program development. The curriculum now includes two work-life-related courses, offering students opportunities to develop professional and entrepreneurial skills through mentorship programs and workshops. Moreover, annual antiracism seminars, organized by students, serve as a platform to address social exclusion-related issues in society.

A Continued Commitment to Inclusion and Positive Change

The journey of the Social Exclusion Master’s Program is not merely a reflection of the past five years but a testament to its enduring commitment to inclusion and positive change. Since its inception, the program has grown and evolved, breaking barriers and fostering an environment where diversity is celebrated, and societal challenges are addressed with academic rigor.

As we look ahead, the Social Exclusion Master’s Program remains dedicated to shaping future leaders equipped with both academic knowledge and practical skills. The program’s commitment to social justice, its multidisciplinary approach, and its emphasis on unity within the student community set a standard for excellence.

Here’s to many more years of growth, learning, and impactful contributions as the Social Exclusion Master’s Program continues to shape a brighter, more inclusive future.


Bridging Academia and Advocacy: Navigating Transformative Internships While Studying: From Classroom Insights to Real-world Impact

By Nia Sullivan


As a recent graduate from the Social Exclusion Masters program at Åbo Akademi University, my academic journey provided a robust foundation for understanding the intricacies of societal inequalities. As a student transitioning from academia to the professional world, I completed two transformative internships with Think Africa ry and Amnesty International, focusing on project coordination and activist initiatives in Finland. These internships fostered influential connections and affirmed my competence, ambition, and potential. This blog post serves as a reflective narrative on my journey, underscoring the pivotal role of internships in translating academic knowledge into real-world impact.

Bridging Theory and Practice

My academic endeavors equipped me with an essential understanding of social exclusion and gender studies. However, as I embarked on my internships with Think Africa ry and Amnesty International, I quickly realized the distinct value of applying theoretical knowledge to my perspectives of practical scenarios. Understanding the circulation of constraints that prevent individuals from full social, economic, and political participation and access was influential during my internships as both organizations work with community and societal matters. Familiarity with social exclusion theories formed a solid basis for capturing societal challenges, accentuating the nuances, and nurturing inclusivity during my internship experiences. Next, I will discuss my internship experiences and my most significant takeaways.

Think Africa Journey: Women’s Entrepreneurial Program

During my project coordinator internship with Think Africa, I immersed myself in the vibrant world of entrepreneurship and social impact. The Women’s Entrepreneurial Program encouraged community members to acquire skills in entrepreneurship through insightful workshops and training. From orchestrating events that fostered economic empowerment to collaborating with diverse stakeholders, this experience honed my project management skills and ignited a passion for community upliftment. I acquired knowledge in budgeting, timelines, reporting, risk management, and defining and directing project goals. Collaboration, prioritization, and building a professional network in Finland were significant takeaways from this position. I remain involved with Think Africa, serving as the General Secretary and partnerships lead. Think Africa regularly offers internship opportunities for students of various fields. I encourage everyone to check them out!

Amnesty International: Activism, Anti-Racism, and Amplifying Voices

My internship with Amnesty International (Finland) ushered me into the realm of activism, where my focus shifted from economic empowerment to human rights and social justice. Notably, this venture emphasized welcoming opportunities and collaboration. My internship was intended as a six-month position within the activism team; nevertheless, I was asked to stay for eleven months and collaborated with the activism, advocacy, outreach, fundraising, and communications teams. My experience working with exceptional colleagues and my involvement in campaigns and outreach initiatives greatly influenced my personal and professional life. This experience enabled me to amplify the voices of marginalized individuals and contribute tangibly to advocacy efforts through research, writing activism blogs, and working with local and international activists. I remain involved with Amnesty International and urge students in the Social Exclusion Program to become engaged in their local Amnesty groups!

Unlocking Opportunities

When exploring internship opportunities, consider leveraging Åbo Akademi’s career services and networking opportunities. Consistently cultivate connections with professors and become involved in your community. I recommend researching organizations aligning with your interests, which is how I learned about my internship opportunities. It is valuable to utilize informational interviews to gain insights and to reach out to professors, mentors, or professionals in your desired field for guidance. Persistence is vital; stay proactive and be prepared to showcase your confidence and adaptability during interviews. Internships offer experience in addition to establishing connections and exploring potential career paths.


Both internships highlighted the significance of effective leadership, collaboration, and adaptability. Working alongside professionals, activists, and volunteers has contributed significantly to my personal and professional growth. Internships extend beyond skill acquisition; they shape career goals, provide networking opportunities, and open doors to unanticipated opportunities. Including these internships in my study experience highlighted the interplay between academia and real-world engagement, which forms understanding and impactful action. The transformative power of internships illuminated my academic journey. The combination of theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience has catalyzed my evolution into a proactive agent of positive transformation. I invite students in the Social Exclusion Program to recognize the potential of internship experiences in shaping a future characterized by empathy, innovation, and equity.

Martins Kwazema’s Doctoral Defense – The Irony of Economic Miracle.

On Monday, October 23, 2023, at 13:00, the doctoral defense of Martins Kwazema is scheduled to take place at the Helikon Auditorium in Arken, Turku.

Martins Kwazema’s academic journey with the Social Exclusion Master’s Program has been nothing short of remarkable. His roles as a research assistant and guest lecturer have allowed him to share his expertise and inspire countless minds. His co-editorship of “Contemporary Discourses in Social Exclusion” underscores his dedication to exploring the complexities of this vital subject.

But it’s Martins’ doctoral research that takes center stage on this special day. His research delves into Ghana’s December 31st Revolution (1982-1992), revealing the paradoxical nature of its “economic miracle.” Martins Kwazema’s doctoral defense promises to be a thought-provoking exploration of a critical period in Ghana’s history.

Save the date, and let’s come together to celebrate Martins’ accomplishments and engage in a stimulating discussion about Ghana’s past and its implications for the present and future. See you there!

In Loving Memory of Maryam Lashgarian

On October 9th 2023, we commemorated the passing of our student, our tutor, our course mate and our friend Maryam Lashgarian. She was also much more, a daughter, a sister and a mother and her passing left us with much sadness. During the memorial, family and friends shared memories and thoughts in her honour, orally or via the condolence book.


I also want to share a dear memory of Maryam, which I was unable to voice during the memorial.


In September of 2022, Maryam reached out in desire to make a tribute to show awareness and solidarity to the ongoing suffering of Iranian women as the result of the obligatory veiling. This act was especially to protest the killing of the  22-year-old Masha Amini at the hands of the Islamic Republic, which also resulted in women showing solidarity by cutting their hair. I assisted Maryam in coordinating the set-up of a table, which consisted of pictures, articles, flowers and a piece of cut hair, in the Arken lobby. This act and how it was set up with genuine thought, showed solidarity to the ongoing protest. The table was beautifully set, where many university students and staff took part and awareness and knowledge were definitely shared about the tragedy.


I wanted to uplift this initiative because I think it symbolizes what a beautiful person Maryam was. This act symbolized her passion for justice, not only in her studies but in her philosophy, activism and everyday life. She had a kind, loving and thoughtful soul and heart, which always considered the people around her. Her contributions, ideas and memories will live on, despite her presence will truly be missed.


Rest in Peace

Rest in Power


Additionally, my deepest condolences to her family. I hope you have strength in these hard times and that you are taking care of yourselves.



Breaking Barriers: A More Inclusive Admission Language Policy at ÅAU

The Social Exclusion Master’s Program is proud to announce a transformative change that embodies our commitment to fostering inclusivity in higher education. This reform is a response to the voices of the Social Exclusion students who have passionately advocated for a more equitable language policy.

For some time now, students of the Social Exclusion master’s program have raised concerns about the existing admission language requirements, which were perceived as Euro-centric gatekeeping mechanisms. In open letters written in 2021 and 2022, students of the Race, Racism, and Antiracism course criticized the university’s admission language policy that favors European students while placing those from countries with English as the language of education at a disadvantage.

Now, we are happy to announce that their advocacy and dedication have paid off. The Rector of Åbo Akademi University, Professor Mikael Lindfelt, signed a change in the admissions language policy. In the coming year, Åbo Akademi University is expanding the list of countries outside Finland, the EU, and the EEA whose English-language higher education is recognized as sufficient proof of English proficiency for admission. This expansion aims to create equal opportunities for applicants from a wider array of countries.

The newly updated list now includes:

Antigua and Barbuda

Cameroon Ghana Kenya Nigeria Sierra Leone Trinidad and Tobago
Australia Canada Grenada Lesotho Philippines Singapore Uganda
Bahamas Dominica Guyana Liberia Rwanda South Africa United Kingdom
Barbados Eritrea Hong Kong Malawi Saint Kitts and Nevis Swaziland USA
Belize Ethiopia India Namibia Saint Lucia Switzerland Zambia
Botswana Gambia Jamaica New Zealand Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Tanzania Zimbabwe

Degrees completed in English at the bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral level from these countries will now be accepted as sufficient proof of English language competence. To ensure that this new language requirement model is effective and responsive to the needs of our diverse student body, Åbo Akademi University will evaluate its impact after this application round. In the coming year, both Åbo Akademi University and the University of Helsinki will pilot this new policy, with the intention of refining and enhancing it based on applicant feedback and experiences.

At the Social Exclusion Master’s Program, we firmly believe that education should be a vehicle for breaking down barriers, not erecting them. This policy reform signifies a vital step towards a more inclusive and equitable academic environment. We eagerly anticipate welcoming a diverse cohort of students who will bring their unique perspectives and talents to our vibrant community. Through the scholarship in the Social Exclusion Master’s Program, we can forge a socially just and inclusive world.

We extend our sincere gratitude to the students, Emilia Plichta, Jan Louie Uy, Niki Panera, Vera Linden, Adelina Appel, Godfred Gyimah, Maryam Lashgarian, Oghenetega Oke, and Sandis Sitton, who called for change and courageously raised their voices against the discriminatory admission language policy. 

The Antiracist Reading List is BACK for it’s Third Season!

Welcome to the new academic year!


We hope the summer has been restful and joyful for you and that you have the energy and motivation to start the new academic year, regardless if you are a newcomer or an “oldie” to the program.


The start of a new academic year also entails the start of a new Antiracist Reading List. Once again we will recommend one book per month for the whole academic year. We will also, similarly to last year, have three themes that we will recommend books in, meaning three books per theme. Our themes this year will be Institutional Racism, Indigenous Knowledge and Banned Books.  Our first theme will be Institutional Racism and the first book we are recommending within this theme is Sara Ahmed’s book On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (2012). 


What are the Consequences of the Rwanda Scheme in a Geopolitical Context: The Domino Effect and Why Rwanda?

Written by Rose Armitage


The announcement and implementation of the UK’s new scheme will have consequences for the global geopolitical space. There is this understanding that it may create a geopolitical domino effect amongst many other countries. Furthermore, the safety of Rwanda to receive high amounts of deportations from multiple countries has also not been assessed.


 Countries Becoming Deportation Machines

Asylum-seeking systems are widely inadequate in economically advantaged countries. Fekete (2005) classified the European approach to migration as becoming a deportation machine where trauma and human rights abuses are disregarded. Many governments adopt the position that migration may threaten the stability of the country but also use the trope through party politics as a mechanism to cater towards populist movements. Haselsberger (2014) points out that borders can have a functional geopolitical and symbolical role. Symbolically, the scheme sets a precedent that asylum-seeking can be approached by the manipulation of power through the agreement of a financial deal instead of attending to obligations and responsibilities. It is pointed out by human rights organisations, and likewise by the UNHCR and the EU that as more countries adopt more deportation schemes, more will follow causing a domino effect (Al Jazeera, 2021) as it gives a green light to abuse people’s human right to claim asylum. However, it is argued that because the public response was generally negative, it would not contribute to other countries taking the same path, especially due to past deportation schemes, such as Australia expelling migrants to the island state of Nauru. (Höni, 2022). These examples and Rwanda could act more as a caution instead of an example. (Barry, 2022). Despite there being an inference that the scheme could be an example acting as a deterrent, the evidence suggests that more governments in economically advantaged countries are adopting similar methods. It is a dangerous example to set, a “socially constituent power practice” (Hasselberg, 2014), as it doesn’t commit to tackling the crisis with care and acknowledging the needs of the individuals but instead threatens those in difficult and vulnerable situations.


The Domino Effect

There are a handful of countries in recent years that have adopted deportation schemes that are strung with financial deals including Australia, Israel, Denmark, and US. (Al Jazeera, 2021). BMJ (2022) points to assessments of current deportation schemes such as in Australia that have led to humanitarian catastrophes with heavy death tolls. From the notion of “the assertion that every future encapsulates history” (Kwazema, 2022), as more countries adopt deportation schemes history is being written for the future to encapsulate the same exclusionary ideas. If more countries do not sustain their obligations in relation to asylum seeking it is more likely that it will materialise as a normality. Significantly, as we are living in an age with globalised mass-media showpiece politics in the geopolitical setting can be dangerously utilised more if countries advertise their refugee system as hostile fleeing asylum seekers will be less willing to seek help and safety when in need. In addition, it will also put on more pressure on the countries that are processing asylum seekers justly. It is hypothesised that once Denmark brought in new legalisations in June 2021 that allow for the removal of people once they were made aware that the UK was exploring the option with Rwanda Demark proceeded to arrange a similar agreement evidencing this domino effect in action. (Höni, 2021).


Why Rwanda?

Rwanda has agreed to the partnership due to the economic benefits it will receive but also as an opportunity to become more involved as an international player. Shortly after the scheme was announced, the Human Rights Watch (2022) sent a letter to the UK Home Secretary strongly urging the government to reconsider the plan. It is a clear abrogation of the UK’s international responsibilities and obligations whereby the scheme would be acting against the 1951 Refugee Convention. The letter also detailed the human rights issues occurring in Rwanda related to repression of free speech, arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, and torture by Rwandan authorities; moreover, it stressed it is a country still recovering and dealing with the national trauma of the genocide. It is questionable currently how viable and effective the integration of refugees (who have been deported against their will) into Rwanda given their political instabilities, injustices, and national trauma. As UK and Denmark have both made deals with Rwanda along with Switzerland and Canada paying Rwanda to take Libyan refugees since 2019 (Höni, 2022) it has not been investigated the impacts of accepting these deportations from several different countries on the Rwandan society.



Conclusively, whilst the argument has been put forward that the UK’s plan and similar plans in other countries will not cause a geopolitical domino effect of other countries following suit, I would disagree. Countries that introduce legislation and systems that blatantly violates human rights has a role in influencing other countries. More may orientate themselves towards the same power plays especially amongst high rising populism. This results in further contributing to ethical blind spots and disregarding’s people’s needs and well-being.



Al Jazeera. 2021. Danish parliament approves law to deport asylum seekers. Available from: Danish parliament approves law to deport asylum seekers | Migration News | Al Jazeera

Barry, E. 2022. Britain Is Sending Asylum-Seekers to Rwanda. It Sets a Dangerous Precedent. Time, Available from: U.K. Sends Asylum-Seekers to Rwanda, a Dangerous Development | Time

BMJ. 2022. UK-Rwanda migration plan fails to safeguard refugees’ medical care, say campaigners. Available from: UK-Rwanda migration plan fails to safeguard refugees’ medical care, say campaigners |B The BMJ

Fekete, L. 2005. The deportation machine: Europe, asylum and human rights. Race and Class, 47(1), pp.64-78.

Höni, J. 2022 Out of Sight, out of Mind?: Why the UK-Rwanda Deal on Offshore Migration Processing May (Not) Serve as an Example for Other Immigration-Skeptic States in the Global North, Völkerrechtsblog.

Haselsberger, B. 2014. Decoding borders. Appreciating border impacts on space and people. Planning Theory & Practice, 15(4), pp.505-26.

Human Rights Watch. 2022. Public Letter to UK Home Secretary on Expulsions to Rwanda. Available from: Public Letter to UK Home Secretary on Expulsions to Rwanda | Human Rights Watch (hrw.org)

Kwazema, M. 2022. The Future as an Agency of Social Exclusion: Analysing the Ethnopolitical Exclusion of the Igbo People of Nigeria. In: Alemanji, A.A., Meijer, C.M., Kwazema, M., Benyah, F.E.K. (eds) Contemporary Discourses in Social Exclusion. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.


Read Rose’s first blog post here.

Critiquing the UK’s Rwanda Deportation Scheme: How it Deviates from Tackling the Issues Within the Migration System and Abuses Human Rights and Asylum-Seeking Obligations  

Written by Rose Armitage


Social exclusion in a geographical migration context can be defined as political and economic power structures at play that discriminate individuals moving from one place to another. UK’s Rwanda Scheme first announced in 2022, is a prime example of geographical social exclusion as it violates the country’s human rights obligations for people to claim asylum safely. I want to discuss the additions and damages of media and political discourses and how perception and language feed into persisting problems of division by power, the relationship between law and showpiece politics and what this means for human rights of asylum seekers. An asylum seeker can be defined as an individual seeking international protection due to fleeing their country of origin because of fear of persecution and a refugee is an asylum seeker who has been legally recognised (Amnesty International, 2019).


What is the Rwanda Scheme?

The Rwanda Scheme is a financial deal between the UK and Rwanda which implements systematic deportation of people who enter the UK to be deported to Rwanda if they enter the UK ‘unofficially’. However, it’s virtually impossible to claim asylum unless already in the country; therefore, the plan creates a paradoxical situation for asylum seekers. Reports (Sky, 2022) state that migration politics have long been susceptible to language that contributes to a perception that migration and asylum seeking is an issue of securitization. Securitization, in the context of international relations, refers to approaching an issue with the mindset that a certain issue is a crisis; therefore, it should be approached with urgency, threat and defence (Munster, 2012). The mobility of people whether migration or asylum seeking should never be considered an issue of securitisation. Historically, deportation has an association with crime; between the 16th and 18th century, convicts were transported from Britain and Ireland to various penal colonies such as Australia. As asylum-seeking is increasingly viewed as a securitization rather than a humanitarian issue, the dimension and association of criminality stick. In politics, the topic of migration is handled with the labels of “illegal” and “legal”. Furthermore, there is also a frequent use of the term “bogus” and “irregular migration”; within the former prime minister of Britain, Boris Johnson’s, speech we hear this terminology along with phrases like “These vile people smugglers are abusing the vulnerable” (Gov.co.uk, 2022) said with hypocrisy as, after all, what is deportation if not people smuggling and what is more vulnerable than doing this against someone’s will. Since last year’s speech the new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, consistently remarks on the implementation of the deportation scheme and states deportations will happen “within days” and not months or years (Guardian, 2023).

Not only does the scheme impact the victim but further the hostility of marginalised individuals living in the UK. This political and media discourse generates exclusivity and racism which indirectly impacts xenophobia and racism in the UK. This intensifies the social exclusive lens of many people, encouraging support from those who hold populist ideals.


The Root of the Problem

The scheme alludes to solving migration issues as the UK government expects that the scheme will be a deterrent for asylum seekers coming to the UK. However, statistics show that there has been a minor change in the number of asylum seekers entering the UK since the scheme was announced (BBC, 2022). Chaloner et al. (2022) indicate that for several decades, the Home Office has consistently opted for methods that deter people from migrating and claiming asylum in the UK. Changes in the system are rarely implemented, despite presenting a rhetoric that the numbers are unmanageable. Chaloner et al. (2022) rightly categorise the government’s method as one of “disposing of” as opposed to a deterrent. Several organisations confirmed that such a scheme is unlawful and incompatible with Art. 31 (1) of the 1951 Refugee Convention, which forbids penalization of refugees for illegal entry (Höni, 2022). Despite this, in January 2023 after a long legal process, the high court upheld ruling the scheme as lawful, meaning in the coming months the plan can be actualised. Human Rights Watch (2022) also analysed that the plan would create a 2-tier refugee system through the categories of “illegal” and “legal”. Although the implementation of the scheme would make it very hard and restricted for people to claim asylum through the “legal” way, as you must be within the country to do so, the whole thing is barbaric. The only requirement to obtain refugee status should only ever be moving away from the threat of persecution or serious harm. The issue of people entering the country “unofficially” is a clear indicator of the failings of the UK government to provide safe and easy accessibility in the first place. Furthermore, the Rwanda scheme is a clear “structural, institutional or agentive process of repulsion or obstruction,” (Fischer, 2011), which will solidify a systemic exclusive nature in the future.


What Needs to Happen?

The scheme attributes against the needed changes within the migration system as discourse shifting is needed to able to help those in need. What is meant by discourse shifting is a change from viewing asylum-seeking with an exclusive, securitized, and hostile nature and towards being viewed as a humanitarian and social crisis. Deportations need to stop they are cruel and inhumane but also expensive and resource-consuming. A charity, Migrant Action (2021) understands that the UK needs to adopt changes that undergo research-based methods to grasp why the system is ineffective and failing so many. In addition to this, it is salient to transform these hostile environments so that within the many stages of the migration system, it is addressed as humanitarian as opposed to a legal battle. There have been numerous accounts of those who have been threatened by deportation which has severely impacted their mental health. Caato (2022), a writer for Al Jazeera, reported people having suicidal thoughts and going on hunger strikes in protest of the scheme. Campbell (2017) investigated the complexities and the faults of the UK’s migration system and concluded that it was an extremely lengthy process, involving several language tests and court hearings; any inconsistencies in paperwork may threaten the person’s chance of gaining refuge and put many at cumulative disadvantages. In addition to this, it is not uncommon for someone to get lost within the system. The mess of the migration with the addition of the scheme will catalyse a humanitarian crisis, as it will provide systematic efficiency and contribute to a harsher inside/outside dichotomy.



The UK’s move to further perpetuate social exclusions as a securitization issue, creating a framework where there’s a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way to be an asylum seeker, is damaging to social exclusion in a geopolitical context as undermining international standards contributes to the ineffectiveness and protection of them when they are violated. Conclusively, the announcement has treacherously stimulated public uproar, creating a divisive showpiece that is using time and resources that could be diverted elsewhere. It alludes to solving migration issues, in contrast to getting to the root of the issue; there should be a focus on attending to these inefficient systems that are failing many people and perpetuating these issues further.



Amnesty International. 2019. Do you know the difference between a refugee and an asylum seeker? The most common refugee terminology explained. 24 January. Available from: What’s the difference between a refugee and an asylum seeker? (amnesty.org.au)

BBC, 2022. What is the UK’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda? Available from: What is the UK’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda? – BBC News

Caato, Mohamed Bashir. 2022. Al Jazeera. ‘I’ll take my life’: UK refugees being deported to Rwanda despair. Available from: ‘I’ll take my life’: UK refugees being deported to Rwanda despair | Refugees News | Al Jazeera

Campbell, J. 2017. Bureaucracy, Law, and Dystopia in the United Kingdom’s Asylum System. Routledge: London

Chaloner, J. Baggaley, R. Ryan, B. Nellums, L. 2022. Deter or dispose? A critique of the relocation of asylum applicants to Rwanda and its public health implications. Regional Health, 18 100442.

Gov.co.uk. 2022. PM speech on action to tackle illegal migration: 14 April 2022. Available from: PM speech on action to tackle illegal migration: 14 April 2022 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Guardian. 2023. Rishi Sunak says people arriving in UK illegally will be deported ‘within days by Jessica Elgot and Rajeev Syal. 2 February. Available from: Rishi Sunak says people arriving in UK illegally will be deported ‘within days’ | Immigration and asylum | The Guardian

Höni, J. 2022 Out of Sight, out of Mind?: Why the UK-Rwanda Deal on Offshore Migration Processing May (Not) Serve as an Example for Other Immigration-Skeptic States in the Global North, Völkerrechtsblog.

Migrant Action. 2022. WHAT WE DO. Available from: Migrant Action

Munster, R V. 2012. The concept of Securitization. Oxford Bibliographies. Available from: Securitization – International Relations – Oxford Bibliographies

Sky. 2022. What is the Rwanda deportation scheme and why is it controversial? 14 June. Available from: What is the Rwanda deportation scheme and why is it controversial? – YouTube

Read Rose’s second blog post here.

Social Exclusion Annual Alumni Gathering

The Social Exclusion master’s program will hold an Alumni gathering for its current students and Alumni on May 9th, 2023, from 17:00 to 20:00 at The Runda Rummet Hall, Theologicum Building, Turku.

We will have a panel discussion with the program’s Alumni during the event. We will also have drinks, snacks, and some goodies from our event sponsors.

The event is open for the program’s current students and Alumni, and registration is required for attendance. (Registration link has been sent by email)

Possible Summer Activities



We are only a month away from the end of this academic year, meaning that the summer holiday is soon upon us! The summer can be spent in various ways, like visiting family and friends, going on a vacation, reading that book you have been planning to read all semester long or simply enjoying the summer sun. In this blog post, we have collected some ideas of how to spend your summer if you choose to stay and spend your summer holiday in Turku.


work during the summer

The summer should hands down be a time for relaxation and a time to charge one’s batteries. However, some might be interested in doing some work, whether that is academic work or non-academic work. Here you can find a list of both types of work that you can do during the summer.

    • Starting with academic work. Many of our students might begin doing research for their thesis during the summer, which can benefit the workload of thesis writing in the fall. Some of the university libraries are also open during the summer and it is worth visiting their webpage for more information if you need to borrow a book or two. The university space is also open for students during the summer if they possess an HID key. Read more on how to receive one here ( log in with university credentials).
    • The Open University at ÅAU offers summer courses which can be found here.
    • The summer can also be an ideal time to do an internship. More info on internships can be found here or by contacting the staff of the master’s program.
    • If you are not interested in doing any academic work during the summer but would like to receive more career-related experiences we recommend a summer job. You can see the site for JobTeaser, which advertises internships and summer jobs on their site, but you can also see the vacant summer job positions on Career in Southwest Finland.  You can also see the following sites for summer jobs: Duunitori, Jobly, Oikotie and some organizations also market their open positions on Facebook or on Instagram.

Summer Jobs" Images – Browse 32 Stock Photos, Vectors, and Video | Adobe Stock

Activities during the summer

However, the summer is, as mentioned, meant for relaxing and work is not mandatory. The master’s program is scheduled and planned to be completed during the academic year, so there is no need for studies to take place during the summer, only if one has the desire to. In the summer we do encourage our students to take a vacation if possible to have the necessary energy for the next academic year. Here are some summertime activities you can do if you decide to spend your holiday in Turku.

    • Visit the archipelago. The Southwest region in Finland has a beautiful and peaceful archipelago that is easy to visit by bus or by boat. You can visit some of the smaller islands on a day trip or even stay at the site for some nights and rent a cabin. For more info about the archipelago and how to visit the islands kindly see Visit Turku’s webpage.
      Turun saaristo - vuokramökit ja majoitus: 86 kpl | Gofinland.fi


  • Attend a music festival! During the summer there are many events happening in Turku. Music events being is one of them. Annually music festivals are Kesärauha, Aura Fest, DBTL (Down By the Laituri) and Ruisrock to mention some of the bigger happenings. These festivals have both Finnish and international artists.

Kesän Ruisrock peruuntuu koronavirustilanteen vuoksi | Turku.fi


  • If music festivals aren’t your scene, there are also other events happening in the summer, like a medieval fair, the Paavo Nurmi marathon and various other events that you can find on the official site of the city of Turku or on Visit Turku’s webpageYou can also visit the Moominworld located about an hour from Turku centre.

The Medieval Market Of Turku Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock


    • Enjoy the riverside in Turku. The Aura River that runs through the city of Turku also comes alive in a different way during the summer. You can, for instance, spend a lovely sunny day by the riverside and enjoy an ice cream from one of many ice cream kiosks. You can also enjoy a nice beverage at one of the many bar boats, such as Donna or Papa Joe. But you can also walk along the river and look at the scenery on both sides of the river, all the way from the Turku castle to the Cathedral to the lovely park area upstream.
  • Top 10 tekemistä Turussa - Kohteena maailma


    • Picnic in a park. There are multiple parks located around the city, which offer a nice break from city life and an opportunity to enjoy nature. Parks near the centre where you can spend a nice day having a picnic with friends, get your tan going or read a book are Kuppittaan Park, Vartiovuori, Puolaanpuisto, Tuomaanpuisto, The park surrounding the Paavo Nurmi stadion and Samppalinnanpuisto.
  •  70+ ilmaista Turku & Suomi kuvaa - Pixabay


    • The City of Turku also has multiple outdoor trails, with various different themes and distances. Some of the trails are fitness oriented, these trails include stairs and hills, while other trails are in nature parks or culture-themed trails, such as a love excursion in Turku following different love stories in the city and a walk following war traces from the civil war and the Second world war.  These trails are easy to follow by downloading the pdf from the website and a fun way to explore the city with friends or family. You can find the different trails here.
    • Do nothing! Relaxing also entails not doing anything! Just enjoy your time, relax, remember to keep yourselves hydrated and take care of yourselves.The Beauty of Finnish Summer - Sunset reflections on lake … | Flickr