Gypsies, Travellers, and Roma in UK Higher Education: A View from Inside the Academy

Smith, Sherrie, Greenfields, Margaret and Rochon, Rebecca (2021) Gypsies, Travellers, and Roma in UK Higher Education: A View from Inside the Academy. In: Adults in the Academy: Voices of Lifelong Learners. Critical Issues in the Future of Learning and Teaching (20). Brill, pp. 101-109. ISBN 978-90-04-50640-4

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Written from the unique perspective of a Romany Gypsy graduate (Smith) with the support of academic colleagues (Greenfields/Rochon), this chapter draws on a Gypsy Roma Traveller GRT learner journey from the point of starting as a mature student with caring responsibilities to the present day as a postgraduate student and early career researcher. Thus, the narrative is able to foreground the voice and personal experience of a GRT author as well as initial findings from ongoing research pertaining to the higher education experiences of Gypsy Roma and Traveller (GRT) students. The dialectic between intentionality and outcome in the higher education (HE) sector is explored, highlighting the significant challenges faced by the GRT community in engaging with HE, such as the place and value of education, and the gendered expectations of community members. It is suggested that ongoing work with HE featuring partnership with the GRT community and beyond, including Showmen and Boaters (GRTSB), may offer a positive opportunity to guide change, and in doing so become 'the change we wish to see'. In particular, it is proposed that universities commit to a good practice pledge that involves monitoring GTRSB student and staff numbers; building a supportive and welcoming culture for GTRSB students; outreach and engagement to local GTRSB communities; and inclusion celebration and commemoration of GTRSB cultures and communities. The document available through this institutional repository is the Author Manuscript (i.e. the post-peer review, pre-publication version).

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Gypsy Roma traveller, higher education, transition, engagement, commitment, partnership
Depositing User: RED Unit Admin
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2021 10:49
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2021 11:32

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