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Sep 18, 2016 07:04 PM EDT

Children of UK Immigrants More Likely to Get Higher Education


Recent studies have revealed that children of immigrants are more likely to get a higher education than their native-born counterparts. The statistics are especially true in the case of UK immigrants.

In a study conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development or OECD, 58 percent of people between the ages of 25 - 44 with immigrant parents has pursued higher education compared to 46 percent of those who have British-born parents.

The statistics are the same in Northern Ireland where 53 percent of those who have non-native parents within the 25 - 44 age spectrum receive higher education compared to their native counterparts who are only 38 percent.

These statistics show that the assumption that children of immigrant backgrounds have a greater risk of downward social mobility is not true. In fact, it is the other way around.

"Many people suspect for immigrants they are going to be more likely to be at the lower end of the performance spectrum. That's not actually true," Andreas Schleicher, OECD director, said. He was quick to say, however, that these statistics do not necessarily apply to other countries.

He explained that one reason for this can be educational motivation where immigrants coming into another country think that the only way to move up the ladder is through education. Another reason for this could be the fact that the system is more permeable where you are given an opportunity to enhance your education if you have those skills.

Another reason Schleicher sees is that British schools are non-selective in accepting students compared to its other European counterparts. For example, some European countries select their students based on their social background instead of basing it on the academic potential of the student.

With this results, Schleicher further proposed that the English school system should be more meritocratic where information of a child's academic potential is acquired from extensive data gathered throughout their school life rather than in a one-time test like the 11 - plus. He said that this is the answer to foster high performance, not in building more schools.

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