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21 May 2022

Irish Traveller and Roma students in Carlow to benefit from funding

Irish Traveller and Roma students in Carlow to benefit from funding

The funding will go towards supporting these communities with further education

The rollout of almost half a million euro in funding to assist Traveller and Roma students in Carlow and across Ireland with higher education has been announced this week. 

It's hoped the investment of €450,000 will help ensure Covid-19 did not widen the gap in higher education between Travellers and the wider population. 

According to the Irish Traveller Movement (ITM), 28% of Travellers leave school before the age of 13 compared with 1% of non-Travellers. 

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, announced the rollout and said:

"Participation by Travellers in higher education remains at an alarmingly low level and recent data shows just 61 Travellers in higher education. Only 1% of Travellers have a third-level education. 

"We have a significant way to go to improving participation rates among the Traveller and Roma community but it will also offer additional supports to people already in higher education." 

The funding will enable the construction of an inter-agency community approach led by higher education institutions and local Traveller and Roma groups. 

It will also enable higher education institutions to assist members of the Roma community, deliver once-off payments or bursaries to Traveller and Roma students in need of resources, and offer mentoring and mental health support. 

Minister Harris said, "There is a real risk that the small increases we have seen in recent years could be lost as a result of COVID-19, and this is something my department is determined to mitigate against. 

"This funding marks a 50% increase in the funding secured in 2021. It will have transformative long-term benefits for the Traveller and Roma communities and allow third-level institutions broaden their reach people in these marginalised communities." 

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