Education Acquisition with a Migration Background in the Life Course

Research question/goal: 

This project was embedded in the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) and contributed expertise, survey instruments, and research for the long-term panels of seven NEPS starting cohorts, which comprised target populations starting at birth, kindergarten, lower secondary school, upper secondary school, higher education, and adulthood. For younger respondents, additional surveys were conducted with parents, educators, teachers, and school headmasters. The project contributed to the domains of ethnic identity, social capital, perceived discrimination, migration-specific learning environments, religion, and other aspects of integration.

Analyses over six age cohorts demonstrate that respondents from the former Soviet Union show a higher identification with their country of origin than those with a Polish or a Turkish background in almost all age cohorts. Overall, respondents with a migration background identify less with others from their country of origin than with ethnic majority members. This is least pronounced among respondents with a Turkish background. Analyses based on NEPS Starting Cohort 4 additionally reveal pronounced group differences in whether native friends are negatively or positively related to identification with people from the sending or host country.

Analyses of data before and during the Covid-19 pandemic show that pre-pandemic, political trust is higher among adult first-generation migrants than among second-generation migrants and natives. During the early phase of the pandemic, political trust increased only among natives and second-generation migrants, but not among first-generation migrants. Later in the pandemic, political trust was higher than before the pandemic in all groups. Neither vulnerabilities nor sociodemographic background can explain these group differences.

Migrants from Turkey and their descendants report higher overall levels of perceived ethnic discrimination than other groups, particularly of discrimination against themselves. Respondents from the former Soviet Union perceive less discrimination on a societal level. In all groups, these relationships are influenced by educational background. While higher educational backgrounds decrease perceived personal discrimination, it raises the awareness for discrimination on a societal level.

Fact sheet

Uni. of Bamberg / Fed. Ministry of Edu. & Research / LifBi
2008 to 2022
Data Sources: 
Primary Data Collection
Geographic Space: