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Closing the Gap for Immigrant Students: Policies, Practice and Performance


OECD Thematic Review on Migrant Education


Migrant education is high on the policy agenda in many OECD countries. While the integration of immigrants into the labour market has been extensively researched, focusing on outcomes for their children and reviewing education policies at the international level has rarely been done. The OECD Thematic Review on Migrant Education will focus on the education outcomes of children of immigrants, with an emphasis on ‘schools’ (pre-school, primary school, and secondary school), while noting that the process of integration is multi-directional, interactive, and non-linear.


The main overarching policy question of the project is: What policies will promote successful education outcomes for first and second generation migrants?  is designed to respond to the question.


The objectives and the resulting outputs are based on criteria for the assessment of the successful integration into the education system, which is threefold:

  • Access – Do immigrant students have the same opportunities to access quality education as their native peers?
  • Participation – Do immigrant students participate (enrol and complete) as much as their native peers?
  • Learning outcomes – Do immigrant students perform as well as their native peers? 

This project was launched in January 2008 to support policy development by providing in-depth analysis of successful approaches to migrant education. To achieve this aim, it will collect country information, synthesise research, organise expert , conduct national policy reviews to identify successful practices and provide policy options for governments to consider. For more information on the project methodology,