Children of immigrants in schools

Success in integrating the children of immigrants is of enormous consequence for societies that have received millions of international migrants since the 1950s - and education systems play a crucial role in this process.

This second generation now constitutes more than half of the student body in many schools in Europe and North America, and these nations have different approaches toward immigrant students. Yet knowledge of the impact of national differences in institutional arrangements, practices, and policies is still very limited and few scholars are trained to do the kind of cross-national comparative research needed to address this issue.

The Nuffield Foundation has funded six European post-doctoral Fellows over three years to participate in an international research programme in partnership with their American counterparts who are funded by National Science Foundation. The programme is designed to improve understanding of the role of educational institutions and policies in the integration of children of immigrants and to train young researchers to conduct international comparative research. The project is coordinated by the Social Science Research Council. The six research projects are:

  • School composition and its impact on the educational trajectories of second generation immigrants in the US and the UK, Dr Vikki Boliver, Department of Sociology, University of Oxford
  • The education of the second generation in France and the US, Dr Yaël Brinbaum, AP Ecole d'Economie de Paris, France
  • Promising schooling practices for children of immigrants, Dr Johannes Lunneblad, Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies, University of Amsterdam
  • Second generation Dominicans and Moroccans: A transatlantic comparison of educational tracks, Dr Helga A G de Valk, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI), The Netherlands
  • Navigating borders: Moroccan and Mexican immigrant youth in schools and communities in Catalonia and California, Dr Jorge Pàmies Rovira, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Barcelona, Spain
  • The role of gender in shaping school performance, Maribel Ponferrada-Arteaga, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Barcelona, Spain

The European Fellows, along with European colleagues, participated in a 2008 seminar on developing comparative research on the second generation. Download details and abstracts (Word)