Student Refugee Program
What is the Student Refugee Program?
The Student Refugee Program is a youth to youth refugee resettlement and integration program that enables over 150 young refugee students each year to enter Canada as Permanent Residents and pursue higher education. Since 1978, WUSC’s Student Refugee Program (SRP) has enabled more than 2,200 refugees to settle in Canada as permanent residents and pursue post-secondary education. During the program’s history, students have been sponsored from 39 countries of origin, including Afghanistan, Burma, Burundi, Czechoslovakia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Iran, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Syria, South Sudan, and Uganda.
How does it work?
As an official Sponsorship Agreement Holder in Canada, WUSC has a longstanding agreement with the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec. These agreements enable us to bring refugee students to study in Canada as permanent residents as part of the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. WUSC ensures the success of the SRP by facilitating the overseas selection of refugees in cooperation with international agencies and the Canadian government, placing them at a Canadian university, CEGEP or college, and providing training and guidance to the Local Committees. Each refugee student is sponsored by a campus-based WUSC Local Committee which raises the necessary funds ahead of time and provides the student with at least 12 months of financial, social, academic, and health and wellbeing support.
Youth as the Drivers of Integration
The core of the SRP is its youth-to-youth sponsorship model. Students in Canada support the day to day integration of newcomers through the SRP and help build their sense of belonging to their campuses and communities. Newcomer students are positively impacted by the support of their peers, and students in Canada gain valuable cross-cultural and hands-on learning experiences. The SRP team has a journal article that discusses this in further detail, you can read it here!
Results & Impact
The impact of this program has a ripple effect within the students’ families and communities. By providing refugee youth with opportunities to continue their education, we also reignite their families’ hopes for the future as we equip their children with the knowledge, skills and experiences to build a brighter future for themselves and their families. Such opportunities also encourage other young refugees to stay in primary and secondary school in hopes of applying for the Student Refugee Program upon graduation.
SRP Guide for Local Committees
SRP 12 Month Action Items
SRP Post-Arrival Checklist
SRP Student Health & Wellness
Tripartite Agreement for the SRP
Guide to Planning a Successful Referendum
Quarantine Readiness Checklist
Welcoming SRP students in a pandemic context