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Responding to the refugee crisis

[Queen's in the World]
Queen's in the World

The Syrian refugee crisis has sparked action from individuals and community groups around Canada and raised awareness of humanitarian crises in that country and other regions of the world.

Queen’s welcomes refugees to study at the university through the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) student refugee program. The sponsored students receive financial support throughout their studies at Queen’s. The program is supported financially by the university and student activity fees from all undergraduate and graduate students.

The Alma Mater Society (AMS) WUSC Club, a supporter of the Student Refugee Program, also raises money for Shine a Light, a WUSC program designed to promote education among refugee girls.

Queen’s Undergraduate Admission is currently monitoring the crisis in Syria.

“Even though the admission cycle for 2015-16 is complete, we will stay up to date on the crisis and address any admission issues on a case-by-case basis to expedite or extend admissions to qualified applicants who may be affected by the crisis,” says Stuart Pinchin, Executive Director, Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment. 

As an educational institution where international activity flourishes in many different forms, Queen’s is committed to contributing to the success and well-being of refugees hosted by our community.
— Daniel Woolf, Queen's Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Refugee students are also given preference for the Principal Wallace Freedom of Opportunity Award, established in 2013 by Drs. Alfred and Isabel Bader in recognition of Queen’s 11th principal. Principal Wallace opened the way for Alfred Bader to study at Queen’s after he was turned away from McGill and the University of Toronto. Alfred Bader, a Jewish teenager who was forced from his home in Austria by the Nazis during the Second World War, built a successful career as a chemist and businessman, becoming Queen’s most generous benefactor.

Queen’s has continued to build on that legacy of welcoming refugees, most recently pledging its support for the establishment in Kingston of a Resettlement Assistance Program for government-assisted refugees. The KEYS Job Centre is seeking to establish the program, which will focus on directly delivering immediate and essential services to government-assisted refugees during their first four to six weeks in Canada.

“As an educational institution where international activity flourishes in many different forms, Queen’s is committed to contributing to the success and well-being of refugees hosted by our community,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “We look forward to working together with a variety of partners, including members of the Queen’s community, to create and implement a Resettlement Assistance Program in Kingston.”

Members of the Queen’s community affected by crises in Syria or elsewhere in the world can access a variety of support services on campus. Students can contact Dr. Arunima Khanna, Queen’s Cross-Cultural Advisor, by phone at ext. 75774 or email, and Nilani Loganathan, International Student Advisor, Queen’s University International Centre by email. Staff can access confidential, professional counselling and wellness services through the Employee and Family Assistance Program offered by Human Resources.