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The Canadian Post-Secondary Education Community’s Response to the Refugee Crisis

On June 7, 2016, WUSC (World University Service of Canada) convened a roundtable to discuss the role of the Canadian post-secondary education community in providing support to refugees. Participants included university, college, and CEGEP presidents, professors, and students; representatives from UNHCR Canada, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and Global Affairs Canada; Canadian non-profit organizations; and Universities Canada and Colleges and Institutes Canada.

The objectives of this half-day meeting were to take stock of the post-secondary community’s response to the global refugee crisis; discuss challenges and share best practices; identify  opportunities for greater collaboration and scale; and look toward a more holistic and unified response for the future.

Examples of the post-secondary community’s current response efforts were diverse and comprehensive. They addressed a broad continuum of issues facing people who have recently resettled in Canada as well as those living as refugees in countries of asylum. These include, but are not limited to scholarships and awards; resettlement and integration; language and skills training; in-camp education solutions; and research and learning.

Participants agreed that there remains much more that can and must be done by the post-secondary community and other stakeholders. Recommendations were organized under three calls to action:

  • Invest in education for refugees, particularly at the tertiary level.
  • Improve education processes to ensure greater collaboration and scale.
  • Further establish Canadian leadership on the global stage.

To read the guide, click here.

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