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The influence of the knowledge-based economy agenda on the integration of Roma : a case study of higher education in Slovakia

Wissmann, S. (2011) The influence of the knowledge-based economy agenda on the integration of Roma : a case study of higher education in Slovakia.

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Abstract:More than ten million Roma live in the European Union (Beger & Grabbe, 2010). Many of them face discrimination and social exclusion. Although Roma face discrimination in several areas of society, the focus of this paper will be on Roma in the education system of Slovakia. There are between 100,000 and 500,000 Roma in Slovakia thus being one of the largest minority groups (Roma Education Fund, 2007). Besides several attempts to end the discrimination of Roma it is still present today. Many Roma children are already segregated in primary school to special classes or schools for mentally handicapped children. Only 2.2% of Roma children finish secondary school as their highest education and only 0.4% complete higher education (Salner, 2005). This low level of education is one of the main problems of Roma and limits their access to the labour market (Grienig, 2010). The low level of education forms a vicious circle because it leads to discrimination in the labour market, which leads to a lower income of Roma households and thus less money to spend for the education of Roma children. The main reason why Roma do not get access to higher education is due to their previous educational attainment (Roma Education Fund, 2007). In order to access higher education in Slovakia students have to pass the final examinations in secondary school. However, the attainment of the vysvedčenie o maturitnej skùške (as the certificate is called in Slovak) might not be the only entrance requirement. Institutions can require entrance examinations or set other criteria. (European Commission, 2010a) The low level of schooling of Roma leads to a loss of human capital of Slovakia because Roma do not acquire the same knowledge and skills other citizens get. In order to face globalization however more and more human capital is needed to build “knowledge-based economies”. This is even more so now when Slovakia has become a member of the European Union. Human capital and knowledge are very important resources of economies in the EU.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration BSc (56627)
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