Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Migrant Students’ Sense of Belonging and the Covid‐19 Pandemic: Implications for Educational Inclusion

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Abstract:  This article investigates school belonging among migrant students and how this changed during the Covid‐19 pandemic. Drawing on quantitative data gathered from 751 migrant students in secondary schools in six European countries (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and the UK), we examined the impact of Covid‐19 school closures, social support, and post‐traumatic stress symptoms on changes in school belonging. Linear regression showed a non‐significant decrease in school belonging, and none of the studied variables had a significant effect on this change in our whole sample. However, sensitivity analysis on a subsample from three countries (Denmark, Finland, and the UK) showed a small but significant negative effect of increasing post‐traumatic stress symptoms on school belonging during Covid‐19 school closures. Given that scholarship on school belonging during Covid‐19 is emergent, this study delineates some key areas for future research on the relationship between wellbeing, school belonging, and inclusion.

Keywords:  Covid‐19; inclusion; migrants; post‐traumatic stress; school belonging; social support



© Nikolett Szelei, Ines Devlieger, An Verelst, Caroline Spaas, Signe Smith Jervelund, Nina Langer Primdahl, Morten Skovdal, Marianne Opaas, Natalie Durbeej, Fatumo Osman, Emma Soye, Hilde Colpin, Lucia De Haene, Sanni Aalto, Reeta Kankaanpää, Kirsi Peltonen. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.