Fulbright Hungary and Jesuit Roma College sign cooperation agreement

Written by Fulbright on 09/09/2014. Posted in News

Fulbright Hungary and Jesuit Roma College sign cooperation agreement

After the opening session of Fulbright’s orientation for the AY 2014-15 US grantees to Hungary, ED Károly Jókay and the rector of the Jesuit Roma College István Antal signed a cooperation agreement.

For the second academic year running, the Roma Residential College will host an American Fulbright student, who teaches CV skills, interviewing, English and American culture.

Starting in AY 2015-16, there will be two English teachers working with two of the Christian Roma residential colleges in Hungary. Fulbright Hungary has been awarded extra funding by the US State Department to kick off the Roma Student Initiative in AY 2015. For more details, see below.

Fulbright Hungary’s Roma Student Initiative

The Roma Student Initiative is designed to help meet the higher education goals, and strengthen leadership, of the Roma student population in Hungary, who are disadvantaged due to their poor economic situation and have suffered discrimination over the years. The goal of the Roma Student Initiative is to work with Roma students who have already gained admission to one of Hungary’s colleges or universities and are prospective Roma Residential College residents that were set up in order to support first generation students, often from underprivileged families.

A very small percentage of Hungary’s Roma youth population complete their high school studies, and only a few hundred are enrolled in a higher education institution. The Hungarian Government’s Roma Integration Program, as well as private efforts supported by the Roma Education Fund, Romaversitas, and other private initiatives will serve as our partners in identifying qualified candidates.

During the past year, one Fulbright English Teaching Assistant was assigned to pilot the Roma Student Initiative at the Jesuit Roma Residential College in Budapest, Hungary. His goal was to

  • Conduct outreach to high school students in general, in areas with significant Roma presence

  • Conduct advanced English classes for groups of 5 students at the Jesuit Roma Residential College with similar numbers at the other 4 Residential Colleges

  • Establish an “English club” for cultural immersion activities that reach out to a broader and younger audience.

In collaboration with EducationUSA, provide educational advising to those students who seem skillful candidates for U.S. study programs, including, but not limited to, grant-writing, interview skills, researching educational institutions etc. Up to 10 Roma students per year could be fit to apply for graduate and undergraduate admissions and take standardized tests. The peer group involved would be an approximate number of 40-50 students in Budapest and three other regional centers that are served by American Corners and Roma residential halls.