Gypsy, Roma, Traveller, Showmen and Boater communities to benefit from bursary opportunities

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Date: 30th Sep 2020

Bucks New University has introduced a Gypsy, Roma, Traveller, Showmen and Boater (GRTSB) Student Bursary as it increases its support for the communities in the 2020 / 21 academic year.Bucks New University

The University is leading the collaborative development of a ‘good practice pledge’ for universities to sign up to, aimed at supporting access to Higher Education and recognition within universities, for members of the communities.

The bursary is the latest step in supporting the pledge, with the University offering students £1,000 each year to support them during their studies, which is pro rata for those studying part-time.

As well as the bursary, the University offers accommodation, assistance with university applications, and a mentor throughout a student's studies.

Margaret Greenfields, Professor of Social Policy and Community Engagement, said she was 'proud' the University had introduced the bursary.

Prof Greenfields said: "These bursaries and the wider wrap-around support package - including access to mentors - have been developed to support our Vice-Chancellor's commitment to enhanced support for students from GTRSB communities.

"We're therefore building on our long-term work with the communities and importantly taking a whole university approach to inclusive education.

"I believe we are the only university in the country that has taken in to account the additional challenges members of the communities may face in entering or remaining in higher education, and introduced a package of bursaries and tailored support.

"I'm particularly proud of the fact that Roma, Showmen and Boaters are also eligible for this package, an approach which looks beyond the ethnicity categories of Gypsies and Travellers routinely used in education statistics.

"This move ensures recognition of the lived reality for wider related communities who also experience exclusion because of their ethnicity, heritage, living situation, and culture."

See more details and how to apply for the bursary, here.

Activity Bucks New University is undertaking to support GRTSB communities includes:

- Thanks to its collaborative work to widen participation in to Higher Education among Gypsies, Travellers, Roma, Showmen and Boaters, Bucks New University and its partners have been shortlisted for Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year in the THE Awards 2020.

These partners include non-governmental organisations (NGOs) - Friends; Families and Travellers; the Traveller Movement; Advisory Committee for the Education of Romany Travellers; Dr Graeme Atherton (NEON); and Coventry University.

The awards are widely known as the Oscars of higher education, highlighting and championing the very best of the talent and creativity that shines out from’ the UK’s universities, and take place virtually on 26 November.

The shortlisting is in recognition of collaborative work to widen participation in higher education among Gypsies, Travellers, Roma, Showmen and Boaters led by Prof Braisby, Prof Greenfields, Sherrie Smith, and colleagues across the University in partnership with the stakeholders.

- In June, Bucks New University marked Gypsy, Roma, Traveller History Month (GRTHM), celebrating the varied and valued contributions the communities make to British society, as part of its commitment to encourage members of these communities to participate in HE.

- The University also hosted an online exhibition of work by Dr Daniel Baker, a Romani Gypsy who is an artist, curator and theorist, as well as a debate, hosted by Vice-Chancellor, Prof Braisby, exploring performance, identity, prejudice and representations of GTR communities. Dr Baker and professional dancer, choreographer, Roma scholar, and Flamenco historian Rosa Cisneros PhD, from Coventry University, took part in the debate, which was viewed by a large and diverse audience.

See a dedicated page for details of Bucks New University's range of financial support, scholarships, and bursaries.

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