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24 Roma students from the Promociona+ programme take the EBAU [university entrance exams] [editar]

The number of Promociona+ students has grown exponentially, from 145 to 448 participants in four years

FSG Educación

24 Roma students from the Promociona+ programme take the EBAU [university entrance exams]24 young Roma students from 15 Spanish cities participating in the Promociona+ educational programme organised by Fundación Secretariado Gitano are taking the EBAU exams this month

Promociona+ includes a number of high-impact initiatives aimed at reversing the inequality facing the Roma community: guidance and tutoring for students in non-compulsory education, the FSG Luis Sáez Scholarship project for Roma women in postgraduate education, the Postgraduate Certificate in Social Engagement with the Roma community from the Public University of Navarre (UPNa) and the Group of Roma Ambassadors for education. These initiatives are contributing to a growing pool of educational role models in the Roma community. Promociona+ is another step forward in guaranteeing the right to education for young Roma men and women.

The inequality gap at higher levels of education is alarming. For the Roma population between 20 and 24 years of age, only 9% have completed non-compulsory secondary education or intermediate vocational training and only 2% have completed higher education, while for the population as a whole this figure is 40% and 21%, respectively, according to study “El alumnado gitano en secundaria: un estudio comparado” [Roma students in secondary education: a comparative study].


Fernando Ramírez, estudiante de Valladolid. English YouTube subtitles available

Roma students’ education has always been a priority for Fundación Secretariado Gitano, which focuses on the stages posing the greatest difficulties. We have offered guidance to students at these higher levels by providing financial aid and educational mentoring.  Currently, with the support of European, regional and local financing, Promociona+ is being implemented in 13 Autonomous Communities. In recent years, the number of students in the programme has increased from 145 in the 2017-2018 academic year to 448 in the 2020-2021 year. This upward trend marks a positive change in the education of Roma students.

The students participating in the Promociona+ programme during the 2020-21 academic year can be broken down as follows: intermediate-level vocational training cycles (37% of the 448 participants); non-compulsory secondary school (29%); university studies, including the Postgraduate Certificate in Social Engagement with the Roma community from the Public University of Navarre (UPNa) (22%); higher-level vocational training cycle (10%); postgraduate studies (1%) and doctoral studies (1%).

Sesión de tutoría en Alicante
Sesión de tutoría en Alicante

Successful results

Promociona+ already has an impressive track record: during the 2019-2020 academic year, one of the most complex in recent years, 96 Roma students completed one of the aforementioned levels, representing 84% of the total.  78% of young men complete their studies, while 89% of their young women complete theirs.

Promociona+ pays special attention to the educational situation of Roma women, since they are much less likely to receive the same educational opportunities as their male counterparts. Girls complete non-compulsory secondary education and higher-level vocational training cycles to a lesser extent. For non-compulsory secondary education, 88% compared to 100% of boys and 80% compared to 100% of boys, respectively. Moreover, at the university level, they drop out more than boys (10% vs. 3%).

Alba Santiago, estudiante de Valencia. English YouTube subtitles available

In the 2019-2020 academic year, the students with whom we work at Promociona+ have greater presence in intermediate-level vocational training cycles and university studies (this includes 30 students from the Postgraduate Certificate in Social Engagement with the Roma community).

Delving deeper into last year's graduates (2019-2020), the highest percentage of graduation was achieved in the non-compulsory secondary education, higher degree and doctorate with 91%, 90% and 100% respectively. As regards intermediate-level and university-level studies, the intermediate level has a general graduation rate of 77%, with 87% of females and 62% of males completing their studies. At the university level, 86% of students graduate: 95% of females and 75% of males. At the postgraduate level, 2 of the 3 eligible women graduated.

Nevertheless, a portion of the Roma students with whom we work continue to drop out. Last year (2019-2020), 7% of students in the Promociona+ programme dropped out. Of that 7%, 68% were concentrated in intermediate-level studies, 23% in university-level studies and 9% in higher-level vocational training cycles.

Promociona+ will continue working so that more and more Roma continue their educational journey at non-compulsory levels, thus creating a pool of educational role models to serve as an example for others.

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