One of best, long-standing, and most meaningful ways for York community members to get involved in refugee support and sponsorship is through its two World University of Canada (WUSC) local committees, on its Glendon and Keele campuses. York University has significantly expanded its commitment to these initiatives.
A Strengthened Commitment
In recognition of the scale and pervasiveness of displacement globally, York is expanding and enhancing its support for WUSC-sponsored and non-sponsored student refugees. On the WUSC front, beginning in 2016 it will increase refugee sponsorship from one to five refugees per year, providing 4-year tuition waivers for each student. One of these will be for a graduate student each year. It will also waive residence fees for the first year and provide a basic meal plan for each student, while providing these students with access to work-study positions for four years.
The University is also encouraging the York and wider community to donate to bursaries for both WUSC and non-WUSC refugees, such as the Centre for Refugee Studies Bursary for Refugee Students.
York students have long supported refugee sponsorship through a per-credit hour student levy. In light of the University’s increased commitment, moving ahead student-levy funds will be used to support other settlement costs (such as clothing, books, travel, etc) of WUSC-sponsored students beyond those covered by the University.
As of 2015/2016, York and its students have sponsored 25 students since its first sponsorship in 1987/1988 out of Founders College. Refugees have been supported from Afghanistan, Burma, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, and South Sudan.
These committees provide meaningful and significant opportunities to learn about and become engaged in refugee issues.
Get involved at the Glendon and Keele Campuses
WUSC is a Canadian, non-governmental organization doing international development work in over twenty countries. Through its Student Refugee Sponsorship Program, it identifies and facilitates the sponsorship of students who are coming from refugee camps around the world to study and resettle in Canada.
Student-led WUSC Committees oversee campus activities to provide support to sponsored refugees and are actively seeking new members to assist with these exciting increases in refugee sponsorship commitments. They also work to promote refugee awareness more broadly.