Kings College Launch Rom Belong Film Series

10 September 2019

Gypsies, Roma and Travellers are the least likely to go university. We want to change that.

The Rombelong film series, created in collaboration with Rural Media, shows the stories and experiences of six Gypsies and Travellers that have been or are going to university. The students are all very different and have very different interests. But they all have one thing in common, they decided to go against the stereotypes that people have and follow their dreams and continue education.

There are a lot of reasons why people don’t go to university, but the Rombelong programme by King’s College London wants to make sure that ethnicity isn’t one of those reasons. It is a programme very much led by Traveller students and puts the experts by experience in the driver’s seat.

There are thousands of subjects that you can study at university, from nursing to law, music to physics. A degree can help you get a job as well as understand yourself and others. Going to university is an unforgettable experience but it can be daunting. You might think it is a space that we can’t occupy as Gypsies, but we can, and we should.

By being present in these spaces we can show the Gadje community that their stereotypes are hollow, they don’t tell the whole story. We are capable of so many things, and already achieving them. University should be an option for every person, if that is the route that they want to take. King’s College London are committed to help anyone start that journey and help them to get to wherever it takes them.

We have put together some FAQs for questions you may have about going to university, if you can’t find what you are looking for, or would like some more information, feel free to contact outreach@kcl.ac.uk

 

FAQs

What qualifications do I need to go to university?

The most common route to university is by having 3 A levels and 5 GCSEs, however there is another way for those that don’t have those qualifications. This is by an Access course, offered by most colleges they can offer you an equivalent qualification and they take a year to complete part time.

Get in touch with your local college to see what access courses they offer and funding.

How much will it cost me to go to university?

Although university courses can cost up to £9000 per year you don’t have to pay anything upfront, you get a student loan to pay for your course and your living costs whilst you are studying, although a lot of students have a part time job or summer job whilst studying to help pay for day to day living costs.

How/when do I have to pay back my student loan?

Student loans can sound scary, but they are not like a bank loan or a credit card loan. The loan gets paid directly to your university and is connected to your national insurance number, so when it comes to repayments it just comes out of your pay, but only when you earn over a certain amount! Currently, if you don’t earn over £25, 000 per year you don’t have to pay back your student loan. Once you do start earning that much you pay back a certain percentage. For instance, if you earn £1800 per month you would pay back £23 per month and it would increase as you earned more. Although this may change,currently, if you haven’t paid back your student loan in 30 years then the remainder gets wiped.

How do I apply for university?

Most university applications go through UCAS. It’s a website that has every course that is offered on it, and you fill in an application form with up to 5 choices in. There will be a section for your school to fill out if you are at school, or extra guidance if you are not applying through a school or college.

How do I find accommodation?

It all depends on you and where you choose to study, some people stay close to home so they can stay at home with family. Others choose to go away in which case you can either live in student ‘halls’ at university or rent privately. Student living loans can usually cover the costs of living and universities can help with finding accommodation and extra help with funding.

What are UCAS points and how do I get them?

UCAS points are how UCAS measures all the different qualifications that people get post 16, so it creates an even score board for people that have studied A levels, BTECs and access courses, as well as other qualifications they may have as well. You don’t have to do anything to change your qualification into UCAS points, the website will work out how many points you have when you complete the application form.

How do I find a course?

The most important thing is to study what you are interested in, some people find a course by thinking about a particular career they want and what course is needed for that (for instance law) others may really enjoy a subject and study that which can then help get a career in a certain field (such as art). The best thing to do is a search on UCAS.com or asking someone that has been through the process to help. It’s great to get as much advice from as many different people as possible when it comes to applying to university.

Find out more about the experiences of some Gypsies and Travellers who went to Uni in these other short films below


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