SU Welcomes Refugee Students to U of C
Staff and elected officials from the University of Calgary Students’ Union gathered at the Calgary International Airport on Tuesday to greet Augustine Gayang and Peter Kuany to Canada. They are the 2012-13 refugee students sponsored by University of Calgary undergraduate students.
Gayang and Kuany arrived from a refugee camp in Kenya, where they resided after fleeing the violence in their home country of Sudan. In some developing countries, getting an education can be dangerous. Whether due to war or political repression, students are often persecuted, imprisoned or forced into exile.
In March 1986, the students at the U of C voted to establish a student levy to sponsor a refugee student through World University Services of Canada (“WUSC”) in pursuit of a university degree. The fund, which is administered by the Refugee Student Board (RSB), has sponsored 21 students to date and will sponsor two students each coming year, providing a total of $47,000 of funding per student through four years of academic study. The Student Refugee Program enables individual refugees to pursue their education and a better life in an environment free of violence or fear. At the same time it offers students and faculty on Canadian campuses a unique opportunity to learn first-hand about refugee and development issues. Students come from refugee camps from Ethiopia, Sudan, Liberia , Rwanda, South Africa and Malawi.
“The Students’ Union is proud to sponsor refugee students,” said SU Vice President Operations and Finance, Scott Weir. “We are very fortunate to live in a country and province where students can attend post-secondary education in a welcoming and safe environment. To provide that opportunity to a student from another less developed country is a great example of true social responsibility.” They begin their Bachelor of Science classes at the University of Calgary this month, taking advantage of the Students’ Union’s refugee student sponsorship program. They both hope to study engineering in the future.
For more information visit the World University Services of Canada web site at: www.wusc.ca