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Education vital for integration of migrants: report

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Education vital for integration of migrants: report


(BRUSSELS) - Immigrant students struggle to integrate in schools in some EU states, says a new OECD report mandated by the Commission, confirming the need to promote inclusive education and common values.

European leaders have in recent months expressed their strong support for ensuring a smooth and full integration of immigrants as well as establishing common values and inclusive societies. The Country Reports published in March by the European Commission highlight the challenges faced by pupils with an immigrant background in many Member States.

The main findings of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's report are that immigrant students struggle to integrate 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.

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 theeconomy, 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. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results 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. These numbers exclude the tens of thousands of refugees who have recently arrived in many of the countries that participated in PISA.

The Resilience of Students with an Immigrant Background - Factors that Shape Well-being - OECD report

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