What makes them thrive? Protective factors for the academic success of Roma university students: A case study.
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SourceEducation, Citizenship and Social Justice
The situation of oppression and discrimination of Roma people is a fact that can be observed in many research studies. This is in conjunction with segregation and unequal educational conditions for Roma students, which do not seem to improve despite economic investment and specific intervention programmes. We understand that these situations are ever-present and structural in our society and that they segregate and exclude and become cultural, social and educational barriers for Roma students to successfully continue their academic careers until they reach university. The aim of this study was to understand the views of Roma students at a university in the south of Spain regarding the factors that had enabled them to overcome the initial difficulties they had faced during primary and secondary education, and which had acted as protective factors against educational exclusion. We have included quantitative data through the use of questionnaires, and qualitative data through the use of interviews. The results suggest that these factors are diverse, intersecting and are not mutually exclusive. Family and teacher support and the presence of a non-segregated environment, as well as personal motivation and self-awareness, are key factors. A relevant finding has been the flexibility of cultural reference models that have allowed them to navigate the exclusionary structures of the school.
Subjectsethnicity; mixed-methods; protective factors; racism; Roma students
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