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GTRSB Pledge

Logo of the Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showmen, and Boaters PledgeBackground to the pledge

Barriers to Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils achievement in compulsory education, in turn reduce their access to HE as the likelihood of gaining the requisite grades at GCSE and A- Level needed to access HE are diminished. There are very few Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) university students and graduates in the UK, with an estimated average of 200 members of the communities in higher education at any one time (Greenfields, 2019; Mulcahy et. al. 2017).

Ensuring support and access to Higher Education for members of these ethnic minority populations, and the wider group of students included under the ‘GRT’ rubric by the OfS  (which includes students from New Traveller, Showman and Boater communities) is therefore a matter of social justice, impacting as it does, greater access to employment, increased social mobility, enhanced opportunity and visibility, and increased equality for members of the GRT populations.

What is the purpose of the pledge?

The GTRSB into Higher Education Pledge consists of a firm commitment by a University, College or educational Institution to undertake certain steps to support GTRSB (Gypsies, Travellers, Roma, Showmen & Boaters) students into and within higher education.

The Pledge is designed to support best practice in ensuring monitoring of data; inclusive pedagogy and representation in the academy, and the development of widening participation practice to support GTRSB students and potential students.

The Pledge has been developed after consultation with GTRSB community members (graduates, students and academic staff who are members of the communities); civil society organisations, university representatives, and education policy specialists. It is underpinned by robust research findings, and consideration of effective widening participation interventions in supporting members of the communities into and within HE.

The Pledge sets out to deliver effective practice and also create an open and welcoming environment where members of the communities can be confident that their culture and learning needs are understood by the institution which they attend, or which they are interested in attending.

Our Commitment

In backing the GTRSB into Higher Education Pledge, Northumbria University marks its firm commitment to undertaking steps to support GTRSB students into, and within, higher education.

Professor Andrew Wathey CBE, former Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Northumbria University said: “We recognise that members of GTRSB communities experience considerable inequalities in access to education, along with prejudice and discrimination in everyday life. As a university we value diversity, and we are determined to ensure we provide an inclusive environment for all. In signing up to this pledge we commit to better understanding the experience of our GTRSB students and staff, so that we can work collaboratively to create environments where everyone feels welcomed, supported, and able to thrive."


More details about the pledge can be found on the Buckinghamshire New University website.


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