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Education and Students with Immigrant Backgrounds

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Migration flows are profoundly changing the composition of classrooms. Whatever the history and context in each country, data from the ProgrammeOECD

for International Student Assessment (PISA) reveals growing social, cultural and linguistic diversity. The ability of societies to preserve and promote social cohesion in the presence of large migration flows depends on their capacity to integrate immigrants.

While migration flows pose challenges for host communities, they also represent opportunities. Diversity has always been at the heart of human progress. Beyond that, migration can facilitate the adjustment in ageing socieities. But to unlock the benefits of migration, effective education and social policies are necessary to integrate migrant children successfully into society. Education systems shape immigrants’ ability to eventually participate in the labour markets of host countries, contribute to welfare arrangements, and feel part of their communities. The growing share of children among those fleeing conflict has led to a re-examination of how best to integrate foreign-born children into their new communities. This is particularly important given the high likelihood that a large number of young migrants will settle permanently in their country of destination.

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