Inclusion of Roma students in Europe

A literature review and examples of policy initiatives

Despite the international commitment to Roma social inclusion from 2005 onwards, the overall situation has not significantly changed. In education, important achievements have been reached, mainly in terms of access to primary. Yet, Roma students still lag behind. This paper maps policy initiatives for Roma inclusion in European education systems, analyses remaining challenges and explores policy perspectives. It first describes European countries’ conceptualisation and categorisation of ethnic groups. In doing so, it differentiates colour-blind countries that prohibit diversity data and prioritise integrated approaches in policymaking, and countries that collect such data and use targeted approaches. This work then identifies initiatives aimed at improving Roma students’ inclusion and recurrent challenges, such as segregation in education and anti-Gypsyism. The few evaluations available indicate that best practices are those that (1) combine mainstream and targeted approaches; (2) are community-based, with a genuine participation of Roma; (3) are conscious of cultural disparities; and (4) adopt an intercultural approach.

Published on September 30, 2020

In series:OECD Education Working Papersview more titles