By Fabian Mayer, January 26 2016 —
The University of Calgary announced on Jan. 20 that it will provide up to 33 bursaries to Syrian refugees settling in the city. Funding for the initiative will come from a fundraising effort, with the university matching up to $100,000 of the community-raised funds.
Roughly 2,000 Syrian refugees are expected to arrive in Calgary over the coming months. U of C associate vice-president government and community engagement John Alho said selected students will come from this group.
“This will be in support of the Syrian refugee families that arrive in Calgary,” Alho said. “We would anticipate there will be strong uptake on the program.”
According to Alho, the $6,000 bursaries will help refugee students cover the costs of education in their first year.
“The intent is really to help individuals make that transition into the U of C and get them settled in,” Alho said. “We wanted to mobilize our campus community to be part of the solution.”
The university has also committed to providing free English language training for 10 Syrian refugees each term. The program will run for just one year, though Alho did mention the possibility of renewing the program in future years.
“As the situation on the ground evolves and if there’s increased demand we might revisit that,” Alho said.
University president Elizabeth Cannon weighed in on the program in a statement.
“With all the wonderful efforts being made across our city and throughout the country, to house, clothe and feed refugees when they arrive, we are happy to open our doors and remove economic barriers to ensure Syrian students can move forward with their education,” Cannon said.
Students can contribute here.