Candidate-student courses for young people of Roma origin for admission to medical universities in Bulgaria

This project seeks to address the barriers to access to preparation and admission for Roma students willing to study Medicine, Dental medicine and Pharmacy, by providing preparatory courses for 15 to 20 young Roma from across the country who wish to apply for medical school in summer 2024.

Within this initiative, applicants go through a rigorous selection process in order to gain the opportunity to attend intensive preparatory courses in Biology, Chemistry and Bulgarian Language and Literature. The teaching is combined with ongoing  performance assessment, qualified advice in response to the individual needs of each participant and support with the university application and registration process. Throughout this process individual supervision and work with the students’ families is provided to improve motivation and retention rates.

More than 100 young Roma have attended such preparatory courses in the past and more than half of them became students in Medicine, Dental medicine, Pharmacy. Some of them are currently doctors in leading Bulgarian hospitals and some are already mentors of current Roma medical students. All of them are recognizable among the Roma community in Bulgaria, their experience has attracted media coverage and they act as ambassadors of various initiatives to improve access to health services for the most vulnerable communities.