07 SES 14 B, The Access to University of Vulnerable Groups
Situation of Roma people is still clearly alarming in all Europe. In Spain, where live almost one million of Roma, only 1% of them arrive to the university, while almost 35% of the rest of the population have a university degree (Damonti & Arza, 2014). To reduce this gap, the Integrated Plan for Roma People in Catalonia (IPRP), coordinated by the Catalan Government, is implementing Successful Educational Actions (SEAs), which has been identified by INCLUD-ED project (Flecha, 2015). One of these SEAs is “Family Education”, and its impact on Roma inclusion has already been demonstrated (Flecha & Soler, 2013; Girbés-Peco, Macías-Aranda, & Álvarez-Cifuentes, 2015; Sordé-Martí & Macías-Aranda, 2017). In this sense, the IPRP is developing the GAU25, a “Family Education” course for Roma to overcome the Official University Access Exam for people over 25 (Department of Labour. Social Affairs and Families, 2014). This course is being carried out since 2012, is free of charge and is being attended by Roma who are coming from the most vulnerable neighborhoods of all Catalonia. This paper shows the findings of a case study developed in the GAU25, under a research finished in 2017. This research has followed the Communicative Methodology (Gómez, Puigvert, & Flecha, 2011), which has been recommended by the EU (2010) for its potential impact in research with and for vulnerable groups. 1 documentary analysis, 4 standardized open-ended interviews, 12 communicative daily life stories and 4 communicative observations were the data collection techniques carried out. In 5 years (2012-2016), 6 Roma successfully overcome the University Access Exam thanks to the GAU25. Research findings show that this low rate is because their educational level at the beginning of the course is really low. For this reason, in 2016 a group of Roma professors and students of the GAU25 created CampusRom, a mutual support network among Roma to successfully arrive to the university. They started to organize working groups and other activities – in parallel with the GAU25 – to improve the students’ educational skills. In only one year (2016-2017), especially thanks to CampusRom, 7 Roma successfully overcome the University Access Exam, and another 5 more Roma have accessed to the university by other ways. This paper shows again the social impact of the SEA Family Education, and how, in combination with this kind of solidarity network, are successfully helping Roma to access to university.
Damonti, P., & Arza, J. (2014). Social Exclusion of Roma People: A gap that persists and increse. Madrid: Fundación Foessa. Department of Labour. Social Affairs and Families. Catalan Goverment. (2014). Integrated Plan for Roma People in Catalonia (2014-2016). Barcelona. European Union. (2010). Conclusions "Science against Poverty" Conference. La Granja, 8-9 April 2010. Brussels: European Union. Flecha, R. (2015). Successful Educational Actions for Inclusion and Social Cohesion in Europe. Heidelberg & New York & Dordrecht & London: Springer. Flecha, R., & Soler, M. (2013). Turning difficulties into possibilities: engaging Roma families and students in school through dialogic learning. Cambridge Journal of Education, 43(4), 451–465. Girbés-Peco, S., Macías-Aranda, F., & Álvarez-Cifuentes, P. (2015). From a Ghetto School to a Learning Community: A Case Study on the Overcoming of Poverty through a Successful Education. RIMCIS, 4(1), 88–116. Gómez, A., Puigvert, L., & Flecha, R. (2011). Critical communicative methodology: Informing real social transformation through research. Qualitative Inquiry, 17(3), 235–245. Sordé-Martí, T., & Macías-Aranda, F. (2017). Making Roma Rights a Reality at the Local Level: A Spanish Case Study. In J. Bhabha, A. Mirga, & M. Matache (Eds.), Realizing Roma Rights (pp. 187–229). Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
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