The impact of educational achievement on the integration and wellbeing of Afghan refugee youth in the UK
An unprecedented number of unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) have arrived in Europe over the last decade, and young Afghans account for the highest proportion of UASC across England, Scotland and Wales. Despite a wealth of UK policies aimed at ensuring positive outcomes for young people who have been through the care-system, and a rich body of research exploring the experiences of child refugees and asylum-seekers, less has been documented about the experiences of former UASC after they reach the age of eighteen.
An example of practice-based research, this article draws on three new primary data sources to examine the factors that facilitate and impede the socioeconomic integration and wellbeing of young Afghans who arrived in the UK as unaccompanied children but who are now aged eighteen or older.
We demonstrate the important role of educational achievement in creating socioeconomic opportunities, shed light on the ubiquitous influence of unresolved immigration status in detracting from wellbeing, and consider the future of these young people in the UK’s current socio-political context.