Socio-economic disadvantaged students are not equally vulnerable: some of them are defined as ‘resilient’ students because they are able to ‘beat the odds’ and achieve positive academic outcomes. Using data from the last two editions (2015 and 2018) of OECD-Programme for International Students Assessment, we aim to analyse the academic resilience (i.e. the 25% most socio-economically disadvantaged students who achieve an adequate level of proficiency in reading, science, and math) of native and immigrant-origin students. We focus attention on the comparison between resilient students in three Southern European countries (namely Greece, Italy, and Spain) that have only recently become destinations of migratory flows, and those in four North-western European countries (namely France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom) characterised by consolidated migratory traditions. Empirical findings show that self-efficacy beliefs, positive home environment, and language attitudes at home promote good academic adjustments among immigrant-origin students. Furthermore, the ‘double origin gap’ (socio-economic and migratory) of students makes them more dependent on the school environment and climate than their native peers. Specific strategies at school may be further developed (such as improving extra-curricular activities) in Southern countries to promote the inclusion of migrants and reduce their vulnerability.
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