Romaversitas Network Managers Build Program Capacity and Strategy for Improved Roma Student Services

Romaversitas is a comprehensive educational program supported by the Roma Education Fund to help Roma university students accomplish their studies, find proper employment and build community among them. Romaversitas provides them with mentors, tutors, soft skills and a likeminded community of Roma university students. In 2016, the network has grown to eleven centers that welcome students in eight countries with their unique blend of academic and professional support.

To enable the management teams to share their specific experiences and learn from each other, the Roma Education Fund organized a Romaversitas Network Management Meeting on April 19-20, 2017 in Budapest. According to REF’s Executive Director, Nadir Redzepi, “We have to professionalize the Romaversitas Network, to bring higher quality services.” Initiating discussions on transforming into a professional network, including aspects such as its mission, vision, governing structure and operation mechanisms was the ultimate objective of the two-day event.

Romaversitas actors from Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia presented the activities offered by their centers. Many positive points came out of these presentations. First, by offering tutorship, the Romaversitas centers allow students to improve their grade point average. Mentorship offers students build soft skills, such as public speaking, debating or academic writing necessary to become more marketable after graduation.

Romaversitas centers are also places to build students confidence about their Roma identity and who later will “become Roma leaders who will defend and represent their community in the future.” In Tirana, Albania, the community building activities offered by Romaversitas aim, according to Romaversitas Tirana Director Emiliano Aliu, to “raise the students’ pride about being Roma.”

During these two days, the participants debated about how they see Romaversitas as a network. They found this share of tools useful and relevant. A positive and dynamic working atmosphere allowed the participants to share their ideas about how to reinforce the network. A common logo, students’ meetings from the different centers, similar good practice exchange events and more communication between the centers, were some of the ideas that emerged about how to continue working as a network.

Similar Romaversitas network management events are planned for the future.

Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:107%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:EN-GB;} /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:107%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:EN-GB;}

To visit the network on Facebook please click here.