Refugees and asylum seekers often confront particular challenges when accessing essential services in host countries. The difficulties these vulnerable groups face in meeting educational needs are documented in numerous studies. Although Romania experienced mainly transit migration, it is recently becoming a destination for refugees and irregular migrants. Most people entering the country are young or minors, and access to education is crucial for their economic future and a successful integration process. The present paper primarily explores the challenges and difficulties asylum seekers and people with refugee backgrounds experience in accessing educational services in Romania. It is framed within an interpretive paradigm using qualitative interviews with asylum seekers, people with refugee backgrounds, and NGO representatives to collect data. This exploratory research is designed on thematic analysis: four themes and eight subthemes were identified, capturing participants’ perceptions about the Romanian education system and their barriers to accessing education programs. The findings suggest that access to education for refugees and asylum seekers was restricted primarily by language-related or bureaucratic and legal obstacles. Therefore, efforts should be made to raise awareness among the general population and specialised educational institutions. Additionally, creating more opportunities for interactions between people of different backgrounds can alleviate the persisting inequalities experienced by this vulnerable population.

DOI: 10.3390/su15054120
ISSN: 2071-1050