The Spanish Roma population is unofficially estimated to be made up of 725,000 to 750,000 people, of which 40 per cent live in Andalusia, although there is also a significant percentage of the Roma community in Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona (Laparra, 2007).1 In recent years, however, there has been an increase of Roma from Bulgaria and Romania, as these countries entered the European Union in ... [Show full abstract] 2007. Despite their long history in Spain, the Roma continue to be a disadvantaged group, influenced by negative stereotypes and prejudices.
Focusing exclusively on education, numerous gaps persist between Roma and non-Roma populations, with high dropout rates being the main problem affecting the first group. In this chapter, we focus on the field of higher education, a level at which the greatest inequalities between the Roma and the general population are observed. In the first part, we address the situation of the Roma at different educational stages. A review of the scarce statistics, as well as of different research studies, allows us to identify a structural inequality between the Roma population and the gadjo/paya (non-Roma) population. This inequality has been the subject of several action plans of the Spanish government for more than thirty years, plans that have gained international recognition for their inclusive perspective. It is for this reason that the analysis and assessment
of the different objectives and measures contemplated in the Spanish National
Strategy, with a focus on university studies, constitutes the second part of this
work. To conclude, in the third and final part, some ideas on recent debates,
challenges and prospects in this area are presented.