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PISA in Focus

PISA in Focus is a series of monthly education policy-oriented notes designed to describe a PISA topic in a concise, user-friendly way.

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How do the performance and well-being of students with an immigrant background compare across countries?

The ability of societies to preserve social cohesion in the presence of large migration flows depends on their capacity to integrate immigrants. Education can help immigrants acquire skills and contribute to the host-country economy; it can also foster immigrants’ social and emotional well-being and sustain their motivation to participate in the social and civic life of their new communities – and, by doing so, help them integrate more easily. But ensuring that students with an immigrant background have good well-being outcomes represents a significant challenge, because many immigrant or mixed-heritage students must overcome the adversities associated with displacement, socio-economic disadvantage, language barriers and the difficulty of forging a new identity all at the same time.

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