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See detailDistinct Cargos of Small Extracellular Vesicles Derived from Hypoxic Cells and Their Effect on Cancer Cells
Walbrecq, Geoffroy; Margue, Christiane UL; Behrmann, Iris UL et al

in International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2020)

Hypoxia is a common hallmark of solid tumors and is associated with aggressiveness, metastasis and poor outcome. Cancer cells under hypoxia undergo changes in metabolism and there is an intense crosstalk ... [more ▼]

Hypoxia is a common hallmark of solid tumors and is associated with aggressiveness, metastasis and poor outcome. Cancer cells under hypoxia undergo changes in metabolism and there is an intense crosstalk between cancer cells and cells from the tumor microenvironment. This cross talk is facilitated by small extracellular vesicles (sEVs; diameter between 30 and 200 nm), including exosomes and microvesicles, which carry a cargo of proteins, mRNA, ncRNA and other biological molecules. Hypoxia is known to increase secretion of sEVs and has an impact on the composition of the cargo. This sEV-mediated crosstalk ultimately leads to various biological effects in the proximal tumor microenvironment but also at distant, future metastatic sites. In this review, we discuss the changes induced by hypoxia on sEV secretion and their cargo as well as their effects on the behaviour and metabolism of cancer cells, the tumor microenvironment and metastatic events. [less ▲]

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See detailwww.175joerpost.lu
Lafontaine, Aurélia UL

Diverse speeches and writings (2020)

D’Chancen an d’Defien vun digitaler Geschicht

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See detailBlockchain Technology for Data Sharing in the Banking Sector
Norvill, Robert UL

Doctoral thesis (2020)

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See detailA comprehensive study on software aging across android versions and vendors
Iannillo, Antonio Ken UL; Cotroneo, Domenico; Natella, Roberto et al

in Empirical Software Engineering (2020)

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See detailRadio-Feature "100 Jahre Ostbelgien" Folge 7: "Die letzten Belgier"
Brüll, Christoph UL; Fickers, Andreas UL

Speeches/Talks (2020)

In Episode sieben der Sendereihe "100 Jahre Ostbelgien" behandeln die Historiker Andreas Fickers und Christoph Brüll den Ausbau der Autonomie für die deutschsprachigen Belgier im Zuge der verschiedenen ... [more ▼]

In Episode sieben der Sendereihe "100 Jahre Ostbelgien" behandeln die Historiker Andreas Fickers und Christoph Brüll den Ausbau der Autonomie für die deutschsprachigen Belgier im Zuge der verschiedenen Staatsreformen. Seit den 1970er Jahren bringt der flämisch-wallonische Konflikt stetig neue Staatsreformen hervor. Die Atempausen zwischen den Umbauphasen vom Einheitsstaat zum Bundesstaat wurden dabei immer kürzer. Die Deutschsprachige Gemeinschaft hatte und hat auf diese Entwicklungen keinen entscheidenden Einfluss. Sie erweitert ihre Befugnisse „im Windschatten“ der beiden großen Sprachgruppen. Eine Frage hat den Autonomieausbau dabei von Anfang an begleitet: Sind diese Befugnisübertragungen für ein Gebiet mit knapp 80.000 Einwohnern überhaupt verkraftbar? [less ▲]

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See detailInkjet-printed piezoelectric films for transducers
Godard, Nicolas UL

Doctoral thesis (2020)

Lead zirconate titanate (PZT) thin films are a popular choice for piezoelectric devices such as microelectromechanical systems, micro-pumps, micro-mirrors or energy harvesters. Various fabrication ... [more ▼]

Lead zirconate titanate (PZT) thin films are a popular choice for piezoelectric devices such as microelectromechanical systems, micro-pumps, micro-mirrors or energy harvesters. Various fabrication techniques exist for the deposition of PZT in the form of thin films. Physical vapor deposition (PVD) methods are particularly cost-intensive, as they require vacuum conditions and expensive infrastructure. Fabrication costs can be decreased by the use of chemical solution deposition (CSD), where the metal precursors are dispersed in a solvent medium and coated onto a substrate. Thermal treatments convert the liquid precursor into a functional solid film. Spin coating is a conventional coating technique allowing for the deposition of homogeneous layers over large-area substrates. However, it is inherently wasteful, as most of the precursor material is spun off the substrate in the coating process. In addition, as spin coating results in complete coverage of the substrate, layer patterning requires lithography, which adds up extra steps and costs to the overall process. Inkjet printing is an additive manufacturing technique that has the potential to address both of these issues, thus further decreasing manufacturing costs and the associated ecological footprint. The working principle of inkjet printing can be described as the deposition of individual ink droplets at digitally determined locations on the substrate surface, which then merge into a continuous film. Inkjet printing is compatible with CSD processing of PZT thin films, as demonstrated by the previous works in the field. However, the adaptation of standard CSD processing for inkjet printing comes with several challenges, which have to be considered to obtain state-of-the-art functional PZT layers. In the present work, we explore several issues related to the processing of PZT thin films by inkjet printing and we provide possible solutions to address them, in a way that had not been described yet by the state of the art. In particular, we describe a novel strategy that uses inkjet-printed alkanethiolate-based self-assembled monolayers for direct patterning of PZT thin films on platinized silicon. Then, we present a systematic study of the pyrolysis step of the process, which enabled us to print dense and textured layers with state-of-the-art electrical properties. We also developed a proof-of-concept piezoelectric energy harvesting device based on inkjet-printed PZT films. Finally, we unveil a comparative study where we identified an alternative solvent for CSD processing of PZT thin films. [less ▲]

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See detailReservoir Computing with Random Chemical Systems
Nguyen, Hoang; Banda, Peter UL; Stefanovic, Darko et al

in ALIFE 2020: The 2020 Conference on Artificial Life (2020, July 14)

Top-down engineering of biomolecular circuits to perform specific computational tasks is notoriously hard and time-consuming. Current circuits have limited complexity and are brittle and application ... [more ▼]

Top-down engineering of biomolecular circuits to perform specific computational tasks is notoriously hard and time-consuming. Current circuits have limited complexity and are brittle and application-specific. Here we propose an alternative: we design and test a bottom-up constructed Reservoir Computer (RC) that uses random chemical circuits inspired by DNA strand displacement reactions. This RC has the potential to be implemented easily and trained for various tasks. We describe and simulate it by means of a Chemical Reaction Network (CRN) and evaluate its performance on three computational tasks: the Hamming distance and a short- as well as a long-term memory. Compared with the deoxyribozyme oscillator RC model simulated by Yahiro et al., our random chemical RC performs 75.5% better for the short-term and 67.2% better for the long-term memory task. Our model requires an 88.5% larger variety of chemical species, but it relies on random chemical circuits, which can be more easily realized and scaled up. Thus, our novel random chemical RC has the potential to simplify the way we build adaptive biomolecular circuits. [less ▲]

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See detailA Real-World Flexible Job Shop Scheduling Problem With Sequencing Flexibility: Mathematical Programming, Constraint Programming, and Metaheuristics
Tessaro Lunardi, Willian UL

Doctoral thesis (2020)

In this work, the online printing shop scheduling problem is considered. This challenging real scheduling problem, that emerged in the nowadays printing industry, corresponds to a flexible job shop ... [more ▼]

In this work, the online printing shop scheduling problem is considered. This challenging real scheduling problem, that emerged in the nowadays printing industry, corresponds to a flexible job shop scheduling problem with sequencing flexibility that includes several complicating specificities such as resumable operations, periods of unavailability of the machines, sequence-dependent setup times, partial overlapping between operations with precedence constraints, fixed operations, among others. In the present work, a mixed integer linear programming model, a constraint programming model, and heuristic methods such as local search and metaheuristics for the minimization of the makespan are presented. Modeling the problem is twofold. On the one hand, the problem is precisely defined. On the other hand, the capabilities and limitations of a commercial software for solving the models are analyzed. Numerical experiments show that the commercial solver is able to optimally solve only a fraction of the small-sized instances when considering the mixed integer linear programming formulation. While considering the constraint programming formulation of the problem, medium-sized instances are optimally solved, and feasible solutions for large-sized instances of the problem are found. Ad-hoc heuristic methods, such as local search and metaheuristic approaches that fully exploit the structure of the problem, are proposed and evaluated. Based on a common representation scheme and neighborhood function, trajectory and populational metaheuristics are considered. Extensive numerical experiments with large-sized instances show that the proposed metaheuristic methods are suitable for solving practical instances of the problem; and that they outperform the half-heuristic-half-exact off-the-shelf constraint programming solver. Numerical experiments with classical instances of the flexible job shop scheduling problem show that the introduced methods are also competitive when applied to this particular case. [less ▲]

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See detailThe impact of Brexit on “bail-inable” liabilities under English law
Lupinu, Pier Mario UL

E-print/Working paper (2020)

Over three years have passed since 29 March 2017, the date when the United Kingdom (UK) triggered Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). This date has become well-known, for paving the way to ... [more ▼]

Over three years have passed since 29 March 2017, the date when the United Kingdom (UK) triggered Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). This date has become well-known, for paving the way to multiple legal issues, which mostly depend on the finalisation of an agreement setting the conditions for the future relations between the European Union (EU) and the UK. Despite recent political declarations, the Brexit outcome is now clear, and a transitional period has just begun. As a result, for the resolution of credit institutions established in the EU, the bail-in of liabilities previously established under English law could become problematic. To date, the EU framework for the resolution of credit institutions (namely, the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive – BRRD) lacks a provision for the direct recognition of liabilities governed under third-country law. However, through its Article 55, the BRRD leaves to the EU Member State (MS) the duty to require entities to include “resolution-proof” clauses or, alternatively, to conclude a binding agreement with the relevant third country. This leaves a legislative gap concerning this direct recognition. By analysing the current EU legal framework for the bail-in of liabilities established with contracts governed by third-country law, with a view to identify its weaknesses, this paper aims at addressing possible practical solutions. The purpose is to ease the resolution process for the relevant administrative authority of the EU MS in charge of the resolution procedure, without the need of an immediate intervention of the legislator. Indeed, a solution for such gap in the BRRD might be disentangled outside the Brexit withdrawal agreement, or with specific arrangements between the EU/EU MS and the UK administrative authorities. [less ▲]

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See detailMuechtverhältnisser am Musée? Wéi jonk Leit zu Lëtzebuerg Muséeë gesinn an erliewen
Brasseur, Laurence UL

Speeches/Talks (2020)

Diskussiounen iwwer d’Relatioun tëschent Muséeën a jonke Leit gi schonn zanter 40 Joer gefouert. Villes ass säitdeem an de Programmatioune geschitt – an awer schénge Jonker nach fir vill Muséeën en ... [more ▼]

Diskussiounen iwwer d’Relatioun tëschent Muséeën a jonke Leit gi schonn zanter 40 Joer gefouert. Villes ass säitdeem an de Programmatioune geschitt – an awer schénge Jonker nach fir vill Muséeën en Challenge ze sinn. Mee wéi gesäit d’Situatioun aus den Aen vun deene Jonke selwer aus? Fanne si sech an dësen Institutiounen erëm? Eng Etüd déi a Jugendhaiser zu Lëtzebuerg gefouert gouf analyséiert d’Erfarungen vu verschiddene jonke Leit a liwwert Abléck an eng komplex Relatioun déi dacks vun ongläiche Muechtverhältnisser gepräägt ass. [less ▲]

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See detailAbsorber composition: A critical parameter for the effectiveness of heat treatments in chalcopyrite solar cells
Sood, Mohit UL; Elanzeery, Hossam UL; Adeleye, Damilola UL et al

in Progress in Photovoltaics (2020)

Post-device heat treatment (HT) in chalcopyrite [Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2] solar cells is known to improve the performance of the devices. However, this HT is only beneficial for devices made with absorbers grown ... [more ▼]

Post-device heat treatment (HT) in chalcopyrite [Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2] solar cells is known to improve the performance of the devices. However, this HT is only beneficial for devices made with absorbers grown under Cu-poor conditions but not under Cu excess.. We present a systematic study to understand the effects of HT on CuInSe2 and CuInS2 solar cells. The study is performed for CuInSe2 solar cells grown under Cu-rich and Cu-poor chemical potential prepared with both CdS and Zn(O,S) buffer layers. In addition, we also study Cu-rich CuInS2 solar cells prepared with the suitable Zn(O,S) buffer layer. For Cu-poor selenide device low-temperature HT leads to passivation of bulk, whereas in Cu-rich devices no such passivation was observed. The Cu-rich devices are hampered by a large shunt. The HT decreases shunt resistance in Cu-rich selenides, whereas it increases shunt resistance in Cu-rich sulfides.. The origin of these changes in device performance was investigated with capacitance-voltage measurement which shows the considerable decrease in carrier concentration with HT in Cu-poor CuInSe2, and temperature dependent current-voltage measurements show the presence of barrier for minority carriers. Together with numerical simulations, these findings support a highly-doped interfacial p+ layer device model in Cu-rich selenide absorbers and explain the discrepancy between Cu-poor and Curich device performance. Our findings provide insights into how the same treatment can have a completely different effect on the device depending on the composition of the absorber. [less ▲]

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See detailSTEAM Education in elementary schools: A holistic investigation on technology enhanced teaching and learning
Haas, Ben; Lavicza, Zsolt; Kreis, Yves UL

Scientific Conference (2020, July 03)

When we address the learning of mathematics in elementary school, we imagine pupils doing experiments, discoveries, and combining the different elements from arithmetics to geometry. Pupils interact with ... [more ▼]

When we address the learning of mathematics in elementary school, we imagine pupils doing experiments, discoveries, and combining the different elements from arithmetics to geometry. Pupils interact with their environment and try to use their learned skills to get a deeper understanding of the world. They engage in a mathematical thinking process and try to interact with their environment. However, when you visit a classroom, you find a rather old fashioned teaching based on a deductive approach where imitations of technics play an essential role. Based on our observations, pupils learn mainly through to repetitions in textbooks. Experimentation, if any, comes as additional work, it is seen as a ludic activity rather than as real learning activity. In our research, we inquired about different ways to engage pupils in an experimental approach. We used digital and physical modulation, augmented reality, and various educational technologies. In one of our first studies, we designed a tutoring system to foster process-related skills in mathematics within the educational software MathemaTIC . We collected data on pupils in assessments on transferring mathematical thinking from instructional technology to the everyday classroom teaching. In a second study, we worked with pupils from elementary schools, kindergarten, and from the special needs section to go beyond two-dimensional representations and discover how mathematics operates in three-dimensional settings. Pupils worked on designing software and three-dimensional printing. We collected data on how pupils and parents perceived the learning and teaching and how this influences the further thinking in mathematics. In a holistic approach, we aimed to identify how pupils, teachers and parents perceive the learning through these new technologies and how it affects the learning and teaching. Our research happened in onsite and remote teaching. In this conference, we will present results from the different studies, give insights into our research, and present future experimental investigations. [less ▲]

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See detailEthische Aspekte im reflexiven Schulpraktikum. Eine Ethik des Lebens für Praxisbegleiter
Weber, Jean-Marie UL

Scientific Conference (2020, July 03)

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See detailDo they belong? Perception of new citizens – a host country perspective
Murdock, Elke UL

Scientific Conference (2020, July 02)

In 30 years, Luxembourg’s population grew from 500,000 in 2010 to 614,000 in 2019. This growth is largely due to immigration. The foreign population percentage reached 47,5% on 1st of January 2019 – a ... [more ▼]

In 30 years, Luxembourg’s population grew from 500,000 in 2010 to 614,000 in 2019. This growth is largely due to immigration. The foreign population percentage reached 47,5% on 1st of January 2019 – a slight decline (-0.4%) on the previous year. This decline is in fact due to the rise in naturalizations. Since the reform of the citizenship law in 2008, Luxembourg has experienced a steady rise in naturalizations – which amounted to 684 in 2000, 4311 in 2010 and reached 11,876 in 2018. In terms of formal criteria, these new citizens belong to Luxembourg. They have to take part in parliamentary elections and can stand themselves as candidates. Yet how are these new Luxembourgish citizens perceived by the native population? Are they perceived as part of the in-group? To investigate this question, we conducted a quantitative study among 253 native Luxembourgers (65% women, Mage= 34.6, SD = 15.6) – all of whom held Luxembourgish citizenship and the majority (97%) were born in Luxembourg. We assessed the attitude towards a diverse society in general and Luxembourg in particular, adapted the allophilia scale to measure the positive attitude towards the outgroup new-Luxembourgers and assessed the perceived degree of overlap between native and new Luxembourgers. Just over half of the participants (57%) perceive a degree of overlap – which is in turn predicted by openness towards diversity and acceptance of new Luxembourgers. Implications of these findings for inclusive societies will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailNational responses to date during the COVID-19 crisis in the areas of migration and asylum
Sommarribas, Adolfo UL

Scientific Conference (2020, July 02)

This is a presentation of key findings of national responses to COVID-19 to date based on EMN Ad-hoc Queries launched by the European Migration Network between 13 March and 15 June 2020.

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See detailCoronavirus pandemic in the EU – Fundamental Rights Implications in Luxembourg -July2020
Vukovich, Lilla UL; Vysotskaya, Volha UL; Nienaber, Birte UL

Report (2020)

The state of emergency which was declared for three months in Luxembourg came to its end on 24 June 2020. After three weeks of intense legislative work, on 22 June 2020 the parliament adopted two “COVID ... [more ▼]

The state of emergency which was declared for three months in Luxembourg came to its end on 24 June 2020. After three weeks of intense legislative work, on 22 June 2020 the parliament adopted two “COVID-19 laws” to provide a continuous legislative framework addressing the COVID-19 situation after the end of the state of emergency. The first piece of legislation contains measures with respect to individuals. They revolve around the limitation of mass gatherings, the application of protective measures such as wearing face masks or social distancing, and the identification, follow-up and removal of infected and potentially infected people. The second piece of legislation targets measures relating to economic, sporting or cultural activities and welcoming the public. It reinforces the current health restrictions and rules, for example in restaurants, bars, and cafes. [less ▲]

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See detailIndustrial demand-side flexibility: A key element of a just energy transition and industrial development
Heffron, Raphael; Körner, Marc-Fabian; Wagner, Jonathan et al

in Applied Energy (2020)

In many countries, industry is one of the largest consumers of electricity. Given the special importance of electricity for industry, a reliable electricity supply is a basic prerequisite for further ... [more ▼]

In many countries, industry is one of the largest consumers of electricity. Given the special importance of electricity for industry, a reliable electricity supply is a basic prerequisite for further industrial development and associated economic growth. As countries worldwide transition to a low-carbon economy (in particular, by the development of renewable energy sources), the increasing fluctuation in renewable energy production requires new flexibility options within the electricity system in order to guarantee security of supply. It is advanced in this paper that such a flexibility transition with an active participation of industry in general has unique potential: It will not only promote green industrial development, but also become an engine for inclusive industrial development and growth as well as delivering a just transition to a low-carbon economy. Given the high potential of industrial demand-side flexibility, a first monitoring approach for such a flexibility transition is illustrated, which bases on a flexibility index. Our flexibility index allows for an indication of mis-developments and supports an appropriate implementation of countermeasures together with relevant stakeholders. Hence, it holds various insights for both policy-makers and practice with respect to how industrial demand-side flexibility can ensure advances towards an inclusive, just, and sustainable industrial development. [less ▲]

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See detailMoving across and beyond language(s): insights into the translanguaging practices in a multilingual classroom
Degano, Sarah UL

Speeches/Talks (2020)

Migration flows of the 21st century lead to increasingly multilingual societies and entail rapidly evolving language practices. In sociolinguistics and education, there has been a growing interest in ... [more ▼]

Migration flows of the 21st century lead to increasingly multilingual societies and entail rapidly evolving language practices. In sociolinguistics and education, there has been a growing interest in exploring these language practices. While most translanguaging studies carried out at school attend to the flexible use of two or more named languages, they only marginally acknowledge the pupils’ semiotic repertoires. Meaning making, however, occurs across and beyond languages. In this presentation, I will provide insight into the meaning-making processes of a newly arrived pupil in Luxembourg. As the instruction of French, German and Luxembourgish accounts for more than 40% of all curricular time, it can be difficult for newcomers to access the curriculum if they have to learn two or even three languages. This raises the question if and to what extent pupils draw on their resources to engage with the curriculum. My doctoral research tackles the following question: In what ways, to what extent and for what purposes do four multilingual fourth graders of different backgrounds deploy and develop their semiotic repertoires in interaction with their peers and teachers? To address that question, I visited two primary schools in Luxembourg where I observed, took field notes and video-recorded the pupils’ interactions as well as their use of multilingual and multimodal resources. A selection of recordings was discussed with the focal pupils in stimulated recall interviews. Observations, video-recordings and interviews were transcribed and analyzed with thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke 2013), multimodal interaction analysis (Norris 2004) and sociocultural discourse analysis (Mercer 2004) respectively. This presentation is based on the classroom interactions in one of the investigated schools and foregrounds one of the main findings: the pupils aligned their translanguaging practices to those of their peers. They adapted their language use to the interlocutor, orchestrated their semiotic resources in the same way as their peers and reproduced the teacher’s translanguaging practice. The study highlights the interconnectedness of classroom and individual practices and draws attention to the importance of resources other than linguistic ones in meaning-making processes at school. [less ▲]

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See detailPhysical Activity Behavior of Children and Adolescents in Luxembourg - An Accelerometer-based Study
Eckelt, Melanie UL; Hutmacher, Djenna; Steffgen, Georges et al

in Journal of Physical Activity Research (2020), 5(1), 23-28

Due to the continuous decrease of physical activity of children in industrialized countries physical activity behavior has become a key issue in health-related research. The purpose of this study was to ... [more ▼]

Due to the continuous decrease of physical activity of children in industrialized countries physical activity behavior has become a key issue in health-related research. The purpose of this study was to assess objectively the daily physical activity of Luxembourgish children and adolescents and its distribution into school and leisure time. The physical activity behavior of 242 students (108 male students, 134 female students) with an average age of 12.84 years (SD = 2.37) was objectively assessed by wearing an accelerometer (ActiGraph GT3X-BT) for seven consecutive days. The average daily time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity was 47.75 minutes (SD = 19.75). 62 students accumulated the recommended 60 minutes per day. 32% of students’ total moderate to vigorous physical activity occurred during school time and 63% during leisure time. During physical education, students were engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity on average for 20.02%, whereas 46.93% of the time was spent being sedentary. Significant gender differences were found for all variables in favor of male students. Equally, physical activity in all areas decreased significantly with age. The Luxembourgish children and adolescents are insufficient physically active and the moderate to vigorous physical activity levels are mainly accounted by leisure time. Therefore, it seems reasonable for schools to create an environment that supports the physical activity throughout the school day to increase the daily physical activity, with special attention to female and older students. [less ▲]

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See detailImmigration - the host country perspective
Murdock, Elke UL; Sölvason, Ómar

Scientific Conference (2020, July 01)

With 35.5 immigrants per 1000 inhabitants, Iceland had the third highest number of immigrants/ inhabitants in Europe in 2017. Until the turn of the century, the foreign population percentage in Iceland ... [more ▼]

With 35.5 immigrants per 1000 inhabitants, Iceland had the third highest number of immigrants/ inhabitants in Europe in 2017. Until the turn of the century, the foreign population percentage in Iceland was around 2%. In the last 5 years, this percentage has risen steadily to over 10% in 2018. How is this rapid rise in immigration experienced by the host country population? What is the attitude towards this increasingly plurally composed society? The Inclusive Societies – Iceland project investigated both, the immigrants’ situation in Iceland, but also the native populations’ attitude towards immigration and immigrants. It is important to take the host country perspective into consideration, as diversity ideologies will also determine the acculturation options for minorities. A quantitative survey was conducted among 3630 native Icelanders (51.1% women, Mean Age = 50.8, SD = 15.6), spread across all regions of Iceland. The questions covered satisfaction with life in Iceland in different domains but included also specific questions about the attitudes towards immigrants and enquired about contact with immigrants. The results indicate that this culture contact takes place – with over two thirds of participants indicating that they have invited immigrants to their home a few (34.4%) or many times (34.4%). Slightly less participants have been invited to immigrants’ homes (few times 33.6%, often 27.9%). Predictors for openness towards multiculturalism will be presented and discussed. We will also outline the domains with little and considerable variance among respondents concerning cultural practice and attitude to immigration and close with a discussion of policy implications. [less ▲]

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