Who we are

General Program Description

Most Roma youth are not able to attend university due to their financial situation, academic background, and community issues. Most Roma families have little or no extra money to pay for housing, books, and other personal necessities such as food and clothing associated with university, which forces many students to not attend or drop out of school in order to work for themselves and their families. 

Due to the substandard secondary schooling that many Roma students receive, lacking quality teachers, curriculum, and training, they are often unequipped to handle the rigorous requirements of university, causing many to fail. 
Furthermore, as a result of the persistent segregation and discrimination that most Roma youth face in school and society, and coming from disadvantaged social backgrounds, they lack the necessary support network to succeed at university. 
The direct beneficiaries of the Romaversitas program are full-time Roma university students studying in higher education institutions in Hungary. The Romaversitas program offers these students the equal opportunity to earn a diploma and to obtain a job. Only students beginning their second year of university can apply to the program. The most highly talented and highly motivated students are selected for the program, and remain in the program as long as they continue to meet the requirements, including maintaining a 3.5 grade-point-average (GPA).  
The majority of students come from underprivileged backgrounds, where no one in their family, and no one in their community, has a university degree, and many have less than a high school education. Hence, the indirect beneficiaries of the Romaversitas program are the students’ families and their local communities who will be receiving a graduate with advanced skills and increased resources. As a professional, these people are able to utilize their talents and their money to not only better the lives of their families, but to also give back to the Roma community and contribute to the common good of society. Their hard work helps to break the cycle of poverty many Roma find themselves trapped in within their communities.  
Program Description:
Romaversitas operates a comprehensive scholarship, training, and community program for select Roma university students in Hungary. Students who apply and are accepted to the program receive the following:
1) Monthly Scholarship: Romaversitas provides students with a 10-month, personal stipend, and book allowance to help pay for academic textbooks during the year. In addition, Romaversitas also provides financial support for the travelling costs related to its programs organized in Budapest for students who live outside of the city. 
2) Comprehensive Skills Training: as a stipulation for their receipt of the scholarship and participation in the program, each student must choose at least one of the following Romaversitas-sponsored training programs:  
  • Teacher support: if a student requires additional assistance in particular subjects, Romaversitas matches the student with a teacher who will help her or him prepare for exams and write essays. 
  • Academic mentor: if a student desires specialization in a particular area, Romaversitas matches the student with a tutor and together they decide on a topic, bibliography, outline and schedule for a research paper, often their final thesis, or paper for university competitions for talented and ambitious students. 
  • Seminar series: Romaversitas holds a series of seminars monthly during the academic year, with a compulsory communication skills development seminar, and a set of seminars with topics in relation with students’ study area. The seminars involve a presentation by a noted expert in the field and coordinated small group discussions by the students.
3) Enhance Language Proficiency: In Hungary if you would like to recieve your diploma, you have to have a language examination. So, every Romaversitas student who haven’t got language examination the language study is mandatory.  The students undertake to learn a modern language (preferably English) in a language school, one-to-one classes or groups.
Romaversitas maintains constant contact and provides continual support to students throughout their time at university, to help ensure they graduate, and ultimately succeed in securing a professional job. It is a hope is that their success will enable them to be proud advocates for their community and ambassadors who help raise awareness of the issues, problems and potential of all Roma.