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The Road to Integration

Education and Migration

image of The Road to Integration

Migration has been at the centre of policy debates across the OECD in recent years. This synthesis report identifies eight pillars of policy-making that the Strength through Diversity project has revealed to be crucial if education systems to effectively support newcomers. For each pillar, the report details a set of principles driving the design and implementation of system-level policies and school-level practices. The eight pillars are: 1. consider the heterogeneity of immigrant populations, 2. develop approaches to promote the overall well-being of immigrants, 3. address the unique needs of refugee students, 4. ensure that motivation translates into a key asset for immigrant communities, 5. organise resources to reduce the influence of socio-economic status on the outcomes of immigrants, 6. provide comprehensive language support, 7. build the capacity of teachers to deal with diversity, and 8. break down barriers to social cohesion while ensuring effective service delivery.

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Ensure that motivation translates into a key asset for immigrant communities

Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) data shows that, in most countries, students with an immigrant background are more motivated to achieve and hold more ambitious educational and professional expectations than native students. This stems from parents’ and students’ desire to improve their socio‑economic status, which is often the reason to migrate in the first place. However, many immigrant children lack the foundation skills that are necessary to succeed in school and suffer from cumulative disadvantage, which make them underperform compared to their ambitions.This chapter examines policies and practices that can ensure immigrants and their families capitalise on high levels of motivation. Examples include: ensuring that individuals hold ambitious, but realistic aspirations by supporting skills development so individuals are able to realise their ambitions; providing career and education guidance by working with individuals and their families on the development of short- medium- and long-term plans and targets.

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