Differences in Educational Performances between Faiths

Based on figures by UK National Statistics, the Telegraph reports that Hindu, Sikh and Muslim teenagers are more likely to go to university than their Christian or atheist counterparts. A study conducted for the Department of Education found that 77% of Hindu and 63% of Sikh teenagers go on to higher education, compared to 53% of Muslims, 45% of Christians and 32% of those with no religion. These findings add to the existing body of research, which shows that students from white working-class backgrounds are performing worse at school and are less likely to go to university than their Asian counterparts. Prof Steve Strand of Warwick University, however, argues that religion is not the reason for these differences in performance. Rather, religion was a “proxy” for ethnicity – while white working-class students and parents do not see the relevance for attending university, Asian families consider it as a way to achieve a better socio-economic situation.

Second Generation Immigrants at Home in Netherlands

November 25 2010

According to the latest integration report from the national statistics office CBS, second generation immigrants from non-western countries are more likely to consider themselves Dutch than their parents. Second generation immigrants constitute more than half of the non-western immigrants in the country.

Dutch Minister reports on immigrant integration

The integration of immigrants into Dutch society is improving but segregation is increasing in some neighbourhoods and in schools, integration minister Eberhard van der Laan told MPs on Tuesday. The minister (Labour) sent an annual report with integration statistics and a letter with the government’s vision to parliament.

Claiming immigrants should have the desire to participate in society and speak the language, van der Laan envisions more effort to encourage older immigrants to take integration courses. And in education, efforts will be made to decrease segregation in schools, by using double waiting lists, changing registration procedures and better information for parents.

Throughout his speech and the accompanying documents, Van der Laan used the words nieuwe (new) Nederlanders to describe immigrants, rather than allochtoon (alien). Dutch News reports that he did so because “using allochtoon refers to your origins. Nieuwe Nederlander shows you belong in the Netherlands”.

18% of Immigrant Men Plan to Leave Netherlands

Trouw reports on a survey released by the national statistics bureau (CBS). According to the survey 18% of immigrant men have plans to live abroad temporarily or for good, compared to 7% among ethnic Dutch men. The number of women with plans for emigration is significantly lower but is twice as high among immigrants than among ethnic Dutch. In the past months the number of people with emigration plans decreased as some families are deciding not to emigrate due to the economic crisis.

Young Muslims in France Attending Private Catholic Schools

Many of the 8,847 private Roman Catholic schools in France have welcomed Muslim students. The country currently has four Muslim schools. While there are no national statistics, Muslim and Catholic educators estimate that Muslim students make up more than 10 percent of the 2 million students enrolled in Catholic schools. In more ethnically-mixed neighbourhoods and in the northern part of the country, that percentage can rise up to more than half. 80% of the students at the Saint Mauront Catholic school in Marseille, featured in this article, are Muslim. Soheib Bencheikh, former grand mufti in Marseille whose eldest daughter attends a Catholic school, claims that “It’s ironic, but today the Catholic church is more tolerant of, and knowledgeable about, Islam than the French state.”
In return for teaching the national curriculum and opening its doors to students of all faiths, the government pays teachers’ salaries and a subsidy per student. Catholic schools are free to allow girls to wear the headscarf.

Full-text article continues here. (Some news sites may require registration)

Dutch mayors want to ban polygamists

The mayors of four Dutch cities – Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, and Rotterdam, plan to ask the government not to grant citizenship to foreign nationals who have more than one wife. Even though polygamy is banned in the Netherlands, Dutch towns currently register such marriages, and do not ask whether or not an applicant is polygamous. The national statistics office estimates several hundred of polygamous cases across the country, with over 100 who have received citizenship in Amsterdam alone.

Full-text article available here. (Some news sites may require registration)