Role Model Programme

Several inquiries[1] have vouched that lower inflow rates and higher dropout rates of ethnic minority students are – amongst other reasons - caused by the absence of role models. UGent takes an inspiring proactive role in seeking a solution to this major societal challenge by organising an academic intercultural Role Model Programme. This programme targets middle school students in local geographic communities. The role models participate in secondary school visits to inspire final year pupils with their own story of success. As such, these volunteers raise awareness about the importance of education.

Their goal is to share their cultural backgrounds and key experiences that allowed them to achieve their professional goals. The main objective is to encourage vulnerable young people to develop to their fullest potential. The pupils recognise themselves in the role models and envision the possibilities of determining and achieving their own dreams.


[1]Lacante, M., Van Esbrouck, R., Almaci, M. e.a. (2007). Allochtonen in het hoger onderwijs: Factoren van studiekeuze en studiesucces bij allochtone eerstejaarsstudenten. Leuven – Brussel: KUL –VUB. Bossaerts, B. (red.) (2007). Hoger onderwijs voor elk talent. KBS. De Bruyn, K. (2011) De wet van de sterksten? Een kwalitatief onderzoek naar de ervaring van allochtone studenten. Gent: Universiteit Gent.