A YORKSHIRE university has launched a bursary to encourage young people from traveller communities to go into higher education.
It was announced by York St John’s vice chancellor Prof Karen Stanton at a conference in the city. The Moving Forward Together conference - Celebrating Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Diversity and Culture was hosted by the university.
Prof Stanton said: “I firmly believe that education is the bedrock of opportunity and nowhere is this truer than among marginalised communities for whom education can unlock doors previously closed to them and provide a pathway to a better future.
“To support this, York St John has set up a two-stage bursary of up to £2,000 to encourage students to complete their level three studies and to progress to and complete undergraduate study at our university. I hope that many young people will be able to benefit.”
The conference was provided in partnership with the York Travellers Trust and York Council’s Traveller and Ethnic Minority Support Service and the Faculty of Education and Theology at York St John University.
Katie Simpson, head of partnership development, at the Faculty of Education an Theology said: “We are delighted that this important area of work has evolved and that the conference has grown and is now in its third year. This important area of work is evidence of our continued commitment to widening participation in Higher Education, dispelling myths and challenging prejudice.”
Christine Shepherd, chief officer for York Travellers Trust, said: “Once again we had another fantastic conference that was very well received by delegates. These conferences are essential for building bridges and breaking down some of barriers to social inclusion and active participation.
“Through such conferences we are able to raise some of the many issues that are faced by members of the Gypsy/traveller community on a daily basis, the event offers opportunities to positively address some of the challenges faced by the community and to look at possible solutions, especially in terms of health, education, housing and discrimination.”
Catherine Hemmings, of York Council traveller and ethnic minority support service, said: “I think what delegates value in particular about the conference is the opportunity to hear from a range of knowledgeable speakers, and also the chance to discuss important issues with the real experts- community members who are dealing with the issues on a daily basis.”