Access, supporting and thriving in HE: Roma students learning journey
This session will bring together academics and professional service staff from Student Recruitment and Outreach along with two Roma students who have recently completed their study with LJMU. Using students' voices at the heart, the session will take participants on a journey to discover how students from the most disadvantaged BAME group, Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showman and Boaters (GTRSB), decided to come to university. The session will span their initial experiences at the recruitment stage, such as what helped and hindered, through to their study experience, again exploring what interventions supported their study, what they could have benefited more from and what, if anything, acted as a barrier.
Through an exposé of their highs and lows at each stage of their learning journey we hope to encourage debate and action to enable more students from marginalised communities to select university as a first and important choice for them. We hope to also encourage participants to look at support that is both innovative and inclusive, driven by current students' feedback. We will share how building relationships in the Roma communities in Liverpool has been key to collaborations that are sustainable and long lasting with the community on our doorstep.
The session will draw on the expertise from Outreach and Recruitment who will share lessons that are transferable to other groups who, like Roma, might benefit from experience of HE. While speaking directly to two LJMU values: inclusive and community, engaging the students as co-presenters also speaks to having a student focus and being courageous. This reflects our key tenet to put our research participants' own lived experience, Roma, at the heart of the presentation.
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