A new report written by Dr Graeme Atherton, the Director of the National Education Opportunities Network, evaluates the higher education participation of Gypsy, Romani and Traveller Communities and how higher education is trying to address this issue. In the past 10 years higher education participation has increased in every ethnic community, apart from the before mentioned one, therefore is the report crucial to understand the complex reasons behind this phenomenon. 

‘The disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on learners from minority ethnic and low-income backgrounds is well documented. It will only exacerbate the challenges facing GRT communities progressing to HE. They are a group wilfully ignored by the higher education sector. This cannot and must not go on’. Dr Graeme Atherton states in the report

Key Findings

  • Their participation in higher education did not increase in the past 10 years
  • Less than 30% of the participation and access improvement plans mention Gipsy, Romani and Traveller Communities
  • Less than 5% of such plans include activities for this specific group
  • There are no targets related to these groups in the plans 
  • 2 out 29 Uni-Connect Partnerships have activities with this group
  • Only 2 London higher education providers indicate work with learners from this group

Recommendations

  • More focus on the participation of the students from Gypsy, Romani and Traveller Communities in the Uni-Connect programmes for 2021-2025
  • "Establish a national GRT HE access and participation initiative"
  • Special focus on learners from these groups in the GRT Strategy to reduce inequality
  • GRT Education Task Force in London

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