Promoting educational success for children of immigrant origin

Educational success is a determining factor for the integration of children of immigrant origin. It is therefore essential to know if they are succeeding as well as other students, and to identify the factors that influence their educational pathways. The Groupe de recherche Immigration, équité et scolarisation (Immigration, Equity and Schooling Research Group), directed by Marie McAndrew of Université de Montréal, followed 31,119 students of immigrant origin from their first year of high school in 1998-2000 until they reached college. The project's final report, produced in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sport, provides the following observations.

Taken as a whole, even though their initial characteristics are clearly less favourable, first and second generation Quebec students do not constitute a population with a high risk of academic failure. Their resilience is particularly obvious in light of the increase in graduation rates when they benefit from two additional years to complete their secondary studies, illustrating the importance of adopting a less rigid approach in this respect. However, students for whom the language of instruction is not the same as that used at home, first-generation students and, more generally, those in the French sector have more difficulty. There are also significant variations according to region of origin and between different establishments. The researchers recommended that priority be given to the most vulnerable groups and that qualitative studies be carried out into the factors linked to family or school that are causing these differences.

Finally, these students are also subject to other risk factors, shared with the full student body, such as being a boy, attending a public school in a disadvantaged area, entering secondary school with delay and further accumulating this delay during their high school studies. It is therefore essential that the specific needs of this target group be better taken into account by the programs designed to address these issues.


Groupe de recherche Immigration, équité et scolarisation


Marie McAndrew, Université de Montréal

Regular members

  • Françoise Armand, Université de Montréal
  • Alain Carpentier, ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport
  • Fasal Kanouté, Université de Montréal
  • Jacques Ledent, Institut national de la recherche scientifique
  • Sylvie Loslier, Collège Édouard-Montpetit
  • Jake Murdoch, Université de Montréal
  • Maryse Potvin, Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Michèle Vatz, Université de Sherbrooke