Scholarship Program Publishes "Does Socio-economic Background Influence the Competition for a REF Tertiary Scholarship?"

Since the existence of the REF Scholarship Program, the selection of its beneficiaries has been mainly based on merit. Applicants have been selected on the basis of a ranking, composed of scores given for a set of criteria that referred to applicants’ academic and extra-curricular achievements. The higher an applicant’s ranking in the competition, the higher the chance to eventually be among the REF scholarship beneficiaries. In the last years these criteria were the average of grades from school or university, the motivation to study as described in a statement of purpose, the knowledge of Roma issues as demonstrated in an essay, the participation in extra-curricular activities both self-described and stated in reference letters, and the performance at a face-to-face interview. These criteria had different weighting, the most important being the average of grades. Since an initial study in 2012, the REF Scholarship Program broadened its analysis of trends in the competition with this new data analysis that measures the socio-economic background of applicants from the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 academic years.