Australian Journal of Education

Article Title

Improvements over the educational career of immigrant students


Many studies of immigrant students in education focus on a single point in time. As a result, explanations of the performance of immigrant and minority students tend to be static, emphasising enduring socioeconomic, school or cultural factors. This article examines the dynamics of the differences in educational outcomes between immigrant and non-immigrant students in Australia over a five-year period from middle secondary school to university. It finds remarkable improvements in the outcomes of immigrant students. These changes are inconsistent with static explanations and point to the influence of educational factors during middle and upper secondary school. Further analyses show that educational factors such as more positive attitudes to students’ own achievement, academic press and strategic course selection mostly account for the higher level of performance of most immigrant student groups at the end of secondary school.