Addressing student drop-out or early school leaving has long been a major challenge for education policy makers at both national and international levels. This phenomenon affects all levels of education and has a profound impact on those classes of society that are economically and socio-culturally disadvantaged. This is particularly the case o...f the largest minority group in Hungary, the Roma, and its roots go back to primary education. Since the 1990s, so from the change of the regime, a positive tendency could have been observed in the completion of primary education, but in secondary school graduation and in obtaining a higher education degree they are still far behind the non-Roma population. In the current study, we identify causes of their learning failures, and we also present a selection of study grants that are available to young Roma students and support them to achieve higher levels of education. We also highlight the difficulties faced by those Roma youth, who have origins in traditional communities but obtain higher educational degrees.
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 schola...rships 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.