Where Immigrant Students Succeed

A Comparative Review of Performance and Engagement in PISA 2003

Release Date: August 1, 2006

Immigrants bring a wealth of human capital that can contribute to economic growth and cultural diversity of a host country. Tapping into this potential, however, remains a major challenge for policymakers. What barriers exist for young immigrants today? Can schools contribute to reducing those barriers and in turn help them succeed in their adopted country?

Drawing on data from the OECD’s Program for International Students Assessment (PISA), this study examines the performance of students with immigrant backgrounds and compares it to that of their native counterparts. It provides information on countries’ approaches to the integration of immigrants and looks at other factors that could influence an immigrant student’s performance: attitude toward school, motivation and learning strategies, social background, and the language spoken at home.