Policy & Practice

One of the reasons students and academics research and study migration is they want to have an impact on the world. This may be through improving services for migrants and refugees, or by developing better immigration policies, or working in an international organisation. Research can lead to engagement with policies, subjecting them to criticism and analysis, suggesting how they may be improved or overhauled and making evidence-based recommendations.

At MMB we have a broad understanding of policy: it can be adopted and implemented by local government and national government (who may have conflicting priorities and principles), by transnational organisations, local support groups, trades unions and political parties. As people engaged with academic research we have the freedom to think creatively and analytically meaning we can promote innovative approaches and ideas.

Below are some examples of the policy related work going on in Bristol on migration. You can see the relevance of our research to current and emerging local, national, regional and global policy issues. Our projects also generate new qualitative data and knowledge in areas that are currently unknown/invisible to policy. In this way we engage in framing the research and policy agendas of the future. This is by no means an exhaustive list but should give you an idea of the field.

Do get in touch if you would like your work or to discuss future collaborations.

Recent blog posts

MMB’s blog series regularly includes posts that are relevant to policy, politics and practice. Here are the latest, but visit our special series for a full listing:

Selected projects and activities

POLICY COLLABORATION – MMB has joined up with ACH to run seminars, exploring topics such as the concept of “integration”, migrant entrepreneurship, the consequences of No Recourse to Public Funds, housing and more.

EVENT – MMB took part online, as an accredited partner, in the UN’s first International Migration Review Forum. The hybrid event took place over four days 17th-20th May hosted in the UN HQ in New York.

POLICY EVIDENCE – MMB Member, Dr Lydia Medland with colleague Dr Hannah Pitt from the University of Cardiff, submitted a contribution to the House of Lords Call for Evidence on the intention to establish a strategy for horticulture for England in April 2023.

RESEARCH PROJECT – Migrant Business Support (MBS) Migrant Business Support | ACH is a 2-year EU (AMIF) -funded project aiming to reinforce the launch, stabilisation and growth of non-EU migrants’ businesses in the South-West and West Midlands, through personalised business support. Working with the lead partner ACH and with WECA Ann Singleton and Udeni Salmon (School for Policy Studies) are developing policy advice to address and overcome the limitations of ‘integration’ policy and practice.

RESEARCH PROJECT – Everyday Integration is Led by Jon Fox (SPAIS) the project is funded by the ESRC and will run for two years starting in October 2019. Co-investigators are Bridget Anderson, Therese O’Toole (SPAIS) and David Manley (Geography). It works closely with Bristol City Council and four core city partners, but also engage with 25 community groups.

EVENTS – ACH and MMB Seminar Series | Bridging the Gap – This seminar series running since 2021 has tackled issues such as migrant entrepreneurship, integration, no recourse to public funds, housing and the environment.

EVENT – Reparations – meeting Bristol’s responsibilities – A webinar co-organised with Caribbean Labour Solidarity for Black History Month (October 2021). View the Event Recording.

COLLABORATION – Worldwide Universities Network- IOM Strategic Alliance

PolicyBristol briefings

Marriage and Migration: facilitating the integration of migrant spouses

Exploring hidden narratives in the West African Tramadol trade and transport of migrants


Various members of the MMB network engage with policy as part of their work, these include:

Ann Singleton – MMB Policy Strategic Lead and Reader in Migration Policy in the School for Policy Studies

Bridget Anderson – MMB Director and Professor of Migration, Mobilities and Citizenship

Vicky Canning – Senior Lecturer, School for Policy Studies

Diego Acosta Arcarazo – Professor of European and Migration Law, University of Bristol Law School

Nadine Finch, Honorary Policy Fellow, School for Policy Studies – Over the past three decades Nadine has linked practice as a human rights lawyer in the UK with research and policy development in the migration field. She draws on this experience in a new role as an Honorary Senior Policy Fellow in the School for Policy Studies at Bristol, aiming to take the totality of this experience, and more, to address the formidable challenges posed by the immigration legislation recently proposed by the UK government.

PolicyBristol – Influencing policy through world-class research. PolicyBristol aims to enhance the influence and impact of research from across the University of Bristol on policy and practice at the local, national and international level.