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Young High-school Graduates, More Tolerant Towards the Roma

Romania, 26.8.2008 11:47, (Roma Daily News)

A study conducted by the National Union of the Students, in collaboration with the Center for Roma Studies of the Bucharest University, reaches an apparently paradoxical conclusion. Thus, high-school graduates are more tolerant towards the ethnic Roma than higher education graduates, as the former represent a less racist group compared to the entire society, in general.

Between July 23rd and 27th, the National Union of the Students from Romania (UNSR), supported by ARACIS and by the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, organized the summer school “Quality in Higher Education”, to focus on the issue of ethnic tolerance among young people in the Romanian education system.

UNSR and the Center for Roma Studies from the Bucharest University conducted a brief comparative analysis of three studies, two of them being related to young people from Romania – "Diagnosis-The situation of young people and their expectations" from 2006 and 2007, as well as the 2007 Public Opinion Barometer of the Foundation for an Open Society.

The analysis focused on assessing the tolerance level among young Romanians towards the Roma minority – by comparing the 2006 Diagnosis with the 2007 Diagnosis, the tolerance level of young people towards the Roma throughout the Romanian society – by comparing the 2007 Public Opinion Barometer with the 2007 Diagnosis, the relation between the level of studies and the access to information with tolerance towards the Roma – the 2007 Diagnosis, according to the quoted source.

When comparing the 2006 Diagnosis to the 2007 Diagnosis, the authors of the study identified an approximately five percent increase (from 30.6 to 35) in the number of young people who would not accept the Roma as neighbors, an increase from 6 to 15 percent for young people who would accept Roma as relatives, but a very high percentage (59%) of young people would not accept Roma as relatives.

The comparison between the 2007 Diagnosis and the 2007 Public Opinion Barometer indicated that young people represent a less racist group than the society in general. Both the 2006 Diagnosis and the 2007 Diagnosis outline the young people’s lack of tolerance towards certain underprivileged groups, especially towards the Roma minority.

"The 2007 Diagnosis introduces a novelty, by establishing a direct proportionality between the level of studies and the lack of tolerance towards the Roma. Thus, young people who graduated primary or secondary school seem to be more tolerant towards the ethnic Roma than the rest of the young people, while postgraduates proved to be the least tolerant towards this category of individuals.

The studies we mentioned (conducted both by public institutions, and by non-governmental organizations) create a “concerning” profile for the young population in terms of their tolerance towards ethnic groups, and especially towards the Roma minority”, these being the conclusions of the studies.

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