Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Inclusion of Roma into secondary, tertiary and adult education: enhancements and obstacles faced by members of the Roma community in the Slovene educational system after completing elementary school

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.11.01  Social sciences  Ethnic studies  Ethnic studies - social science aspect 

Code Science Field
S000  Social sciences   

Code Science Field
5.04  Social Sciences  Sociology 
Roma, education, Slovenia, secondary education, tertiary education, adult education
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (3)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  19109  PhD Romana Bešter  Political science  Researcher  2018 - 2020  161 
2.  07592  PhD Miran Komac  Political science  Researcher  2018 - 2020  471 
3.  26503  PhD Janez Pirc  Geography  Head  2018 - 2020  167 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0507  Institute for Ethnic Studies  Ljubljana  5051517000  4,513 
Educational structure of the Roma community in Slovenia is very bad. A major part of the population even lacks completed elementary schooling, and the number of those that managed to graduate from secondary school or university is even lower. For Roma community members such situation means lesser chances of employment and consequently worse material and housing conditions, which in turn generates better chances to get stuck in the vicious circle of poverty. Higher grade of education is one of the key factors that can help eliminate these problems. Regarding Roma Slovenia does not offer any special system assistance or support programs for the levels of regular secondary and university schooling. The two key documents (Roma Education Strategy and National Action Program for Roma) aimed at the Roma population, which also deal with education at the state level, only briefly and generally refer to secondary, university and adult education. The same situation prevails in the field of quantitative registration of Roma inclusion and efficiency at this education level, the data being acquired in an unsystematic way. Although Roma education in Slovenia and in the world is subject of ample research, in Slovenia research studies are mainly focused on pre-school and elementary school levels. In the field of Roma education and training many different projects were completed in the last two decades, but only a lesser part of these were of scientific character, and even fewer were focused on secondary and higher/university education. Some projects either touched this field indirectly or they dealt with vocational training and different forms of informal education and adult training (i.e. projects with Roma assistants). Due to bad situation in the field of Roma education, inclusion and efficiency in secondary and university education we will strive for the following aims within the proposed project: Quantitative survey of inclusion/efficiency of Roma in secondary, university and adult education; Identification and analysis of factors affecting the degree of inclusion and success of Roma in educational system generally, with particular focus on secondary, university and adult education; Identification of the main problems and obstacles Roma are faced with in the process of secondary, university and adult education, study of chances of their alleviation and elimination; Acquisition of information on the attitude of secondary, university and adult education institutions towards Roma, and information on the perception of this attitude by Roma themselves; Acquisition of information on experience, motivation, perceptions, wishes and expectations of Roma secondary and university students and adults in the education process. In pursuing these aims we will also focus on: Interregional differences and specifics inside Slovenia; Wider and long-term influence of the increase of educational level of Roma community; Possible cases of role modelling and assistance from the part of Roma individuals with secondary or university education in relation to other Roma members in education process.   The research project will include the following work packages (WPs) with regard to its contents and aims: WP 1: Analysis of documents and literature This WP focuses on key documents, legal bases, expert literature and reports on accomplished projects regarding Roma education in Slovenia. The focus will be on secondary, university and adult education. Results will be presented in a short report. WP 2: Collection and analysis of data on Roma included in secondary, university and adult education This WP will focus on the quantitative aspect of Roma education in institutions of regular secondary and university education, as well as adult education. Acquired and analysed will be data on: Transition of Roma pupils from elementary to secondary school according to information acquired from selected elementary schools; Inclusion of Roma students into secondary schools accordin
Significance for science
This will be the first complex research study regarding inclusion, success rate, obstacles and incentives concerning Roma community members in the Slovene educational system after elementary school and in adult education. The previous research studies dealt with this sphere in a marginal and unsystematic way. The contribution of the present research study is, on the one hand, of quantitative nature, because a data base will be established on the inclusion of Roma into selected secondary schools, universities and adult education institutions. On the other hand, the research study will bring: In-depth information on impact factors concerning Roma inclusion into educational system and their success rate; Innovative complementary insight into: a) The attitude of Roma to education so from the perspective of Roma community as from the perspective of representatives of educational institutions; b) Attitude of educational institutions towards Roma in the process of study. This will provide the possibility of scientific comparison of results and findings at different levels: With research studies, made in Slovenia with regard to the status of Roma children in elementary schools and kindergartens; With research studies of secondary, tertiary and adult education, based on a target population of other minorities in Slovenia; With similar research studies abroad; With regard to individual variables for the selected elementary and secondary schools a comparison will be possible with data on inclusion and success rate of the majority community children and students. The researchers from the Institute for Ethnic Studies have in the past participated in different projects (also with other institutions and organizations) focusing on Roma education and other aspects of the Roma community status in Slovenia (so in the form of co-autorship of the Roma Education Strategy in the Republic of Slovenia (Supplement to the 2004 Strategy) as in the form of research participation within several vast projects and expertise contribution to government agencies). Without this experience and contact network, as well as trust on the part of Roma community members this project would not be able to supply quality research results. The base of quantitative and qualitative data, obtained within project activities, will allow for further analysis as well as expansion of the existing contents, methodology and data.
Significance for the country
Unemployment among Roma in Slovenia is over 95% according to some estimations. Most of unemployed Roma are younger, without vocational education, mostly even without elementary school. Most of them have been registered as unemployed for a longer period. The degree of exclusion from labour market has catastrophic consequences especially for Roma from the South-Eastern part of Slovenia, and is in close correlation with low inclusion and success rates of Roma in education. The research results and findings will provide information on the factors impeding and enhancing Roma students in the education process, as well as on the measures and policies the state can apply to help the Roma overcome obstacles and use incentives for the attainment of higher education level. These project contributions will be applicable so from the perspective of educational institutions and organizations working with Roma, as from the perspective of Roma individuals (in the education process). From the perspective of individuals higher level of education at least in principle brings better chances at labour market and consequently for employment (and thereby lesser dependence on social assistance as the main financial source for the Roma in the South East of Slovenia). Educated and qualified Roma (at least with completed secondary school) would have more knowledge, experience, options and probably desire to: Apply for free jobs; Respond to calls for projects in different fields (culture, training, economy …), e. g. within Roma cultural associations; Establish/create their own economic structures (maybe also in the sense of revival of the former economic traditional Roma trades) which are not present in most Roma settlements. Seen from the short-term perspective the latter two options with support and help of adequate institutions may be even more relevant for Roma in Slovenia than seeking employment with other employers, regardless of the region of their residence or interregional differences in educational and employment structure and social inclusion. From the economic perspective reasons for this differ from region to region: At the South East of the state there are few employers showing either capacity or willingness to employ Roma; At the North East of the state there are few companies or other bearers of economic progress, open to new employment of higher numbers of people. In any case the meaning (impact and applicability of results) of the project for economy in relation to Roma community could only be evaluated in the long run.
Most important scientific results
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Final report
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