Immigrant Student Achievement and Education Policy in Australia

  • Anthony Welch
Part of the Policy Implications of Research in Education book series (PIRE, volume 9)


This chapter provides a brief overview of the cultural composition of the student population within Australia, including its evolution over time. Beginning with a discussion of how immigrant education policies have evolved over time within the Australian educational policy context, in a multicultural society, where migration has long been a feature of the population, the trajectory of achievement results on national and international large-scale assessment measures are examined for non-migrant and immigrant pupils. Measures of achievement reveal significant diversity, within a highly diverse, pluralistic society. In practice, results vary widely both within immigrant, and native-born student populations, with some minority groups performing much better than others, and immigrant pupils often out-performing native-born. Educational achievements of two groups, mainland Chinese and Muslim settlers, is discussed, as is the effectiveness of policy responses adopted to close the achievement gap between more and less successful groups within both native-born and immigrant student groups.



The author would like to acknowledge the help of Dr. D. Tully of the School of Education and Social Work, in undertaking the statistical analysis of PISA data that was the basis for Table 10.1.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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