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  • Curricular and Extracurricular Learning among Students with Resilience Potential. Social Inequalities in Higher Education

    Does resilience potential in higher education mature into success or does it remain merely a promise of success due to rising social inequality? We studied curricular and extracurricular learning of students with outstanding academic achievement who entered higher education despite their disadvantage of social background (= students with resilience potential). A student survey database compiled in the research project “Higher Education for Social Cohesion – Cooperative Research and Development in a Cross-border Area” (HERD) (HURO/0901/253/2.2.2.) in 2012 was analyzed. Students of three Eastern Hungarian higher education institutions were surveyed (N = 1205). Students with resilience potential were identified in the intersection of two groups of variables: social background and input academic achievement. We have conducted a cluster analysis, which has resulted in the identification of students with resilience potential and other researched groups: drifters (low social background and low input academic achievement), beneficiaries (high social background and high academic achievement) and indifferent prodigals (high social background and low academic achievement). To sum up our results, the students with resilience potential only use higher education to fulfill curricular requirements, and hit a ceiling, compared to the beneficiaries, when it comes to the student year mining, meaningful extracurricular activities. Thus social inequalities crawl through these invisible channels into higher education and beyond.

  • The Mentoring’s Role among Alumni Students of István Wáli Roma College for Advanced Studies of the Reformed Church

    Colleges for Advanced Studies (CASs) are the oldest institutionalized talent development initiatives of higher education in Hungary (since 1895). The Act CCIV of 2011 on National Higher Education initiated the creation of a national network of denominational Roma CASs. In a CAS, students live in a dormitory, build a strong community, get scholarships and support from tutors and mentors. Important elements of Roma CASs are the following: religious education, social responsibility for society, and Roma identity empowerment (Godó et al., 2019; Kardos, 2013; Charta, 2011). In this study, we examined alumni (ex-university students) of a Roma CAS in Debrecen. Among other things, we were interested in how they relate to the mentoring process, how they feel about it, and how mentoring is perceived in their own lives. We are also interested in what types of mentors are mentioned and whether there is any form of mentoring in their current activities. Method of our research: qualitative interview analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in 2018 with 17 alumni selected by snowball method. According to our results, the former students named 2 types of mentors who were next to them: layman and professional mentors, or they themselves can be typed as mentors on the basis of the following: layman mentors (layman persons involved in mentoring activities) and professional mentors. We consider it important to emphasize the role of the pastor in a Reformed institution, who has also been promoted to the professional mentoring category. In addition, our goal is to investigate the characteristics of networking patterns that emerge around specialist college students.