In response to the Syrian Civil War and the over four million Syrian refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries and Europe, the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) has asked post-secondary institutions across Canada to consider taking in Syrian refugee students. Algoma University, in collaboration with the Algoma University Students’ Union (AUSU), has offered to accept two Syrian refugee students for January 2016.
“We are very pleased to offer admission to two Syrian refugee students through the WUSC program. It is vital that Algoma University offers assistance to Syrian refugees and provides them with a safe and stable community living environment, quality education, and a bright future for themselves and their families,” said Algoma University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Craig Chamberlin. “We hope they consider choosing to study at Algoma U.”
WUSC is a leading Canadian non-profit organization in international development, committed to building a more equitable and sustainable world. Through WUSC’s Student Refugee Program (SRP), WUSC has been supporting recently graduated secondary school students living in refugee camps for over 35 years. Over 1,500 refugees have resettled in Canada, becoming Canadian citizens, and have attended Canadian post-secondary institutions. This is the only program of its kind in the world. Many SRP students have secured meaningful careers, bringing about positive change within governmental institutions and within the United Nations, while others have formed their own non-governmental organizations.
“For over 35 years, the Student Refugee Program has been opening doors to a better future for promising young refugees.” said Chris Eaton, Executive Director of WUSC. “Through this one-of-a-kind program, Canadian post-secondary institutions can play a unique role in deepening our response to the current global refugee crisis. WUSC is particularly grateful to the students, faculty, and staff at Algoma University for leveraging their resources further and increasing their support to Syrian refugees. This commitment will be felt by not only these young students, but by their families and by entire communities as well.”
Algoma University has been supporting WUSC and the SRP program for over 10 years, allowing 10 refugee students to earn a university degree who otherwise may not have had the opportunity. Algoma U’s WUSC SRP students have come from the Sudan, Somalia, Burundi, and Myanmar, among other countries.
On campus, over 24 percent of the student body is comprised of international students, many from countries Syrian refugees have fled to, including Iraq. These students, coupled with the Algoma U WUSC Committee, will help future Syrian students adjust and transition to living in Canada, studying abroad, and attending university.
Algoma U will find out in November if two Syrian students will choose to study in Sault Ste. Marie in one of the university’s academic programs.
All WUSC SRP students must go through an intense screening process and meet specific academic regulations before being admitted into the SRP program.