The principle aim of the Bridge Programme is to develop and implement a scalable educational programme with the purpose of empowering disadvantaged Roma students in Hungary. Through the programme pupils develop core academic skills in reasoning, textual comprehension and academic writing in English as well as gain a critical understanding of contemporary social, economic and political questions that feature as some of the most important challenges of 21st century societies. This dual endeavour will prepare and ready students to immerse themselves in subject specialist interests beyond the high school curriculum and develop their passion for knowledge and study further at university. Thorough this journey the Milestone Institute aims in the short, mid and long term to, nurture a cohort of disadvantaged students to enter the Milestone Institute’s Academic Programme and go on to study at a leading university abroad. It also aims to provide tangible examples of achievements of academic excellence to disadvantaged Roma students who will follow their path, and constantly engage through the programme with students, educators and international experts to test, develop and reconfigure scalable best practices that can be made available for organisations with similar aims.
The Bridge Programme is an educational pathway connecting two existing forms of tuition operated by Romaversitas Foundation and the Milestone Institute. While the former – through it’s High School Programme – amplifies the performance of Roma students on school leaving exams by providing pastoral care and small scale quality teaching in core secondary school subjects, the latter delivers high achieving students with advanced subject knowledge and skill development in a university style environment based around personal tutorials and academic modules. The Bridge Programme connects these two educational programmes by building in an intermediary step through which the best students can transition from the former to the latter. This in turn allows greater flexibility for both students and programme coordinators to:
- talent spot students in the Romaversitas High School programme
- provide an in-depth skill and English language development for students before they embark on advanced tuition and later university study
- provide a safety net for students in case the academic challenges or external pressures disables them from completing either the Bridge or core Milestone Institute’s Academic Programme
Through completing the Core Module students will gain an in depth understanding of fundamental problems in contemporary Western societies by watching and analysing the acclaimed HBO television series The Wire. The five seasons of the series illuminates through its host of characters and story telling questions of race, social mobility, discrimination and urban decay, the drug trade and policing, the question of surveillance, the decline of the American working class and the rise of modern technology, the effect of decreasing investment in education, as well as the sensationalism of politics and the media. Through the course students will progressively dwell deeper into the visual text and narrative complexity of the show. They will engage with auxiliary readings from a range of social science disciplines in order to uncover through extrapolations, the comparative significance it has for 20th and 21st century societies. By doing so they will gain the interdisciplinary tools to examine complex socio-economic and political phenomena.