Article

The transition to post-compulsory education among students of immigrant origin in Catalonia

An analysis of early school leavers between the academic years of 2013-2014 and 2015-2016

Jordi Bayona-i-Carrasco, Serra Hunter Professor, Dep. Geography (Universitat de Barcelona) and CERCA; Andreu Domingo, CERCA;
Project selected in the Call to support social research projects: vocational training, early school leaving and job insecurity

Early school leaving rates registered in Spain in 2019 show the highest values in the European Union, with some 17.3% of young people aged 18-24 years interrupting their studies without reaching post-compulsory education stages. A significant part of this early school leaving occurs in the transition between compulsory and post-compulsory education, which represents a key phase in young people’s educational careers. This study analyses, over three academic years (2013-2014 to 2015-2016), pupils born in 1998 based on their migratory backgrounds. Among young people of immigrant origin, who in 2013-2014 accounted for one quarter of pupils, the early school leaving rate was high, at 23.5%, representing around a third of the total in Catalonia. The situation is more pronounced among first-generation immigrants, but it persists among descendants. Among those who continue studying, segmentation of educational itineraries is confirmed, with a lower proportion of students of immigrant origin studying for their Bachillerato.
Key points
  • 1
       Pupils of immigrant origin run a higher risk of early school leaving. In the transition between compulsory and post-compulsory education, some 23.5% of pupils of immigrant origin cease studying, versus 13.3% of native pupils. This means over one third of early school leavers in Catalonia between the 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 academic years belonged to the first group.
  • 2
       Similarly, among the whole set of pupils, boys of immigrant origin experienced a higher proportion of early school leaving, with 26.5% as opposed to 20.1% among the girls. This imbalance is most ob-vious among the first generations of immigrants.
  • 3
       Early school leaving is prolonged over time as a consequence of the higher proportion of pupils re-peating school years. In the 2013-2014 academic year, some 40.5% of pupils of immigrant origin were not in the school year that corresponded to their age.
  • 4
       Strong selection exists in continuity of studies: only 44.8% of pupils of immigrant origin study for the Bachillerato, versus 61.1% of native pupils.
  • 5
       Composition by migratory status determines part of early school leaving when observed by origins, with more early leavers in groups where first-generation pupils predominate. The highest rate is observed among first-generation Asian and descendant Sub-Saharan boys, and cannot be related with recent arrival in the country.
Pupils of immigrant origin show less continuity in access to post-compulsory education
Pupils of immigrant origin show less continuity in access to post-compulsory education

To explain the different intensities of early school leaving, this study focuses on the consequences of the migration process, while keeping in mind that the socioeconomic differences between families of immigrant origin and native families also play an important role, along with other aspects not discussed here such as discontinuities at school (Bayona et al, 2020). For the generation of pupils born in 1998, the 2013-2014 academic year should have represented the last year of compulsory education. Between this academic year and 2015-2016, some 15.6% of pupils ceased studying. Early school leaving reached 23.5% among pupils of immigrant origin, versus 13.3% of native pupils.

This work distinguishes various migratory statuses: that of pupils born abroad who reach Catalonia aged over seven (First generation); those born abroad who reach Catalonia aged under seven (Generation 1.75); descendants, born in Spain, of two migrated parents (Second-generation); those with only one parent born abroad (Generation 2.5). Pupils born in Spain whose parents were too are classified as natives.

As well as differences between sexes, different behaviours are observed according to migratory status, with a high early school leaving rate among the incipient second generations and pupils who arrived more recently, the first generation. In contrast, the children of mixed couples show no differences with natives, even achieving better results.

Classification

Tags

Subject areas

Related content

call

Call to support research projects on education and society

The Social Observatory of the ”la Caixa” Foundation has announced a call to support social science research projects that use quantitative survey data on education and society in Spain.

Report

Inequality of opportunity in educational performance in Spain and Europe

What lies behind educational inequalities? Factors beyond students’ control (such as gender, background, or parents’ financial or cultural status) explain 32% of the differences in their academic performance.

Report

Evolution of wage gap between native-born and migrant youth in Spain

In what way does our background affect wages? This report analyses the evolution of wage trajectories among native and immigrant young people between 2007 and 2015.

Activity

Series of seminars at CaixaForum Macaya: “Learning ecosystems: educational innovation and collaboration”

What is dual vocational education and training? How can truly inclusive education be achieved? What should we understand by learning platform? Together with the Education Sciences Institute (ICE-UPC), we are organising this series of seminars to address the new education ecosystems.

Article

Vocational Training in Catalonia: academic performance, dual VET, and gender

While women continue to opt for more socially-oriented courses, this report points out that the occupations most necessary in 2030 will be those linked to the digital economy.

You may also find interesting

Why are there more early school leavers among migrant-background young people?

Article

Why are there more early school leavers among migrant-background young people?


Education Social Inclusion

What role must teachers play to combat early leaving from education and training of young people of foreign origin? This study shows that their support is key and that they must count on the necessary resources for guiding pupils.

Socioeconomic Inequalities and Academic Achievement in Spain

Article

Socioeconomic Inequalities and Academic Achievement in Spain


Education Social Inclusion

How does socioeconomic inequality affect the academic progress of students? Using recent data we analyse the case of Spain and how it compares with the rest of Europe.

Limitations to the training of human capital and possibilities of economic growth and social wellbeing

Infodata

Limitations to the training of human capital and possibilities of economic growth and social wellbeing


Education Social Inclusion

What is the rate for early leaving of education and training by sex? The Europe 2020 Strategy has a target of 15%.