“The Resilience of Students with an Immigrant Background”: a report by OECD and European Commission
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently issued the report “The Resilience of Students with an Immigrant Background – Factors that Shape Well-being”, mandated by the European Commission.
The report’s main findings highlight that immigrant students are struggling to integrate in schools in many Member States, often due to lower socio-economic status and language barriers. For example, in the EU overall, 72.3% of native students achieve baseline academic proficiency, while this is only the case for 54.3% of immigrant students. Moreover, the report provides new evidence that students with an immigrant background often lack a sense of belonging to their school community and are more likely to be affected by schoolwork-related anxiety. While two thirds (66.5%) of native students experience a sense of belonging at school, this is only the case for less than 60% (58.6) of first generation immigrant students. At the same time, however, they tend to show higher aspirations to succeed than native students. While 57.55% of native students have high aspirations to achieve, this is true for almost two thirds (65.8%) of immigrant students. At the same time, however, they tend to show higher aspirations to succeed than native students. While 57.55% of native students have high aspirations to achieve, this is true for almost two thirds (65.8%) of immigrant students.
The report also underlines the significant role education systems, schools and teachers can play in helping immigrant students integrate into their communities. In addition, it confirms that education is crucial in enabling immigrants to acquire skills and contribute to the economy, that it has a big role to play in fostering their social and emotional well-being and is key in sustaining their motivation to participate in the social and civic life of their new communities.
Migration flows are profoundly changing the composition of classrooms. Results from the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) reveal that in 2015, almost one in four 15-year-old students in OECD countries reported that they were either foreign-born or had at least one foreign-born parent. Between 2003 and 2015, the share of students who had either migrated or who had a parent who had migrated across international borders grew by six percentage points, on average across OECD countries.
Find out more in the full report available here