Team members

Prof. Idesbald Nicaise

has a background in economics and specialised in social policy, more precisely the relationships between education, labour market policy and social inclusion (in rich as well as developing countries). Besides his professional activities, he is chairing the Belgian Combat Poverty Service. See Ides Nicaise – HIVA (

Dr. Anna Ruelens

is a senior researcher specializing in application of advanced statistical methods to the topics of comparative social policy and institutional trust. She was an active contributor to the EU Horizon 2020 project RE-InVEST. Within the "Opportunities" project she is responsible for quantitative longitudinal analysis of migration attitudes across the EU.

KU Leuven is the largest Belgian university in terms of research and student numbers, with a track record in fundamental and applied research in all academic disciplines.

It ranks in the top 10 of most innovative European universities and the top 50 worldwide. HIVA (Research Institute for Work and Society) is a multidisciplinary research institute of KU Leuven, specialised in evidence-based policy- and practice-oriented research on issues in the area of labour and social policy, including migration and social integration.


Team members

Stefan Mertens (PhD, Catholic University of Brussels)

is postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Media Studies – Faculty of Social Sciences, KU Leuven, Belgium. He is also partner for the Dutch speaking part of Belgium in the international Worlds of Journalism Project. His research interests include quantitative and qualitative content analysis, media and diversity, media policy analysis, survey research, research on cultural values and journalism cultures and audience reception studies.

Leen d’Haenens (PhD, Political and Social Sciences, University of Ghent, Belgium)

is Full Professor at the Institute for Media Studies – Faculty of Social Sciences, KU Leuven, Belgium. She holds an MA in Romance Languages, an MSc in Press and Communication Sciences (University of Ghent), and a MSc in Information Studies (University of Toronto). Her current areas of research include journalism studies (frame analysis of immigrant and refugees in the news, longitudinal studies on news diversity), media and ethnic minorities (e.g., ethnic discussion forums as a source of social capital for ethnic minorities), digital media and youngsters, and media governance and accountability mechanisms.

The Institute for Media Studies (IMS), is an interdisciplinary research center specialized in fundamental, applied and contract research in the areas of experiences with and uses of media platforms by individuals, (target) groups and organizations.

Strong focus is put on new technologies as illustrated in research on children and adolescents’ internet use, online journalism, videogames, and usability design.

Another focus is on journalism studies: here the Institute works together with Journalism Studies Antwerp (JOSTA) and the Brussels Centre for Journalism Studies (BCJS). Together they constitute a research team studying news production and reception from different angles (i.e. message, producer, audience).

IMS has methodological expertise in: large-scale surveys, content analysis, qualitative research methods, innovative research designs. With regard to research areas relevant for the present project, the expertise of IMS focuses on: Media and ethnic cultural minorities, studying the threefold relation between media and ethnic-cultural minorities (i.e. minorities as media content, as media users, and as media professionals).