Information for students from GTRSB communities

At Strathclyde, we strive to break down barriers to education and build support for students from the widest range of backgrounds. We are currently looking to identify students from GTRSB (Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showman and Boater) communities, and to identify any support needs or suggestions from students on what they may need and what the University can do to better their student experience.

Data from the Department of Education shows that from 2009–10 to 2017–18 for all other White groups, the trend in HE participation is upwards. However, for Travellers of Irish Heritage it has declined and for Gypsy/Roma groups it has remained static. (Atherton G. 2020). Overall it has been calculated that only 3-4 per cent of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller populations aged 18-30 years access higher education compared with 43 per cent of 18-30 year-olds in the general population (Mulcahy et al. 2017; Greenfields, 2019).

Named contact – a friendly first point of contact for any issues

Our named contact at the University for potential applicants, applicants, students and staff from GTRSB communities is Lauren White from the Widening Access Team, and Lauren can be contacted on

If you are a student, staff member or applicant from a GTRSB community, please get in contact with Lauren who can arrange a chat with you.

GTRSB Into Higher Education Pledge

As a socially progressive institution, the University of Strathclyde is inspired by its founding mission to make a positive difference to the lives of its students and staff, to society and to the world.

We're equally committed to making higher education available to everyone who can benefit, regardless of their background. That's why we're delighted to sign the GTRSB Into Higher Education Pledge.

We want to publicly commit to creating an open and welcoming environment in which members of the Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showmen and Boater (GTRSB) communities can be confident that their culture and learning needs are understood and, indeed, celebrated.

We recognise that people from GTRSB communities are under-represented within higher education and we aim to better understand and help surmount those barriers to access, making sure we listen carefully to the needs and views of those within the communities.

Hear from our Principal, Professor Sir Jim McDonald, on our pledge to you:

Our commitment

For the current academic year 2020/2021, we plan to take the following actions to demonstrate our commitment and improve support:

  • We have already established a named contact for GTRSB students who will lead activity to support applicants, students and staff.
  • We will evaluate current data and seek ways to improve data collection and monitoring and promote methods for students and staff to self-identify.
  • We will develop and promote guidance for staff regarding the experiences of GTRSB communities in education.
  • We will include GTRSB students in our existing support offerings for access students with, for example, the provision of a staff mentor as part of our Strathclyde Cares scheme and priority for funding and extra-curricular opportunities.
  • We will work with current and potential students to identify what support can be put in place to enhance the experiences of GTRSB students in higher education.
  • We will seek opportunities to promote and celebrate GTRSB cultures within the University in order to raise awareness amongst students and staff.