VIU response to Syrian refugee crisis shows global citizenship in action 

Vancouver Island University

Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) commitment to International Education has taken on new meaning in the last year. As an institution that emphasizes the value of global citizenship among its campus community, VIU leaped to action in response to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Syria and the Middle East, and in a matter of weeks, a group of dedicated faculty, students and staff raised more than $50,000 to seed a new VIU International Refugee Scholarship Fund, which has spawned several initiatives to support Vancouver Island’s refugee sponsorship community.

Thanks to the generosity of donors and the community momentum it created, VIU sponsored three Student Refugee Program students this year through the World University of Canada, while the university’s English Language Centre has also become a hub of language support and a ladder into Academic and Trades program for government- and privately-sponsored Syrian refugees arriving in the community.

The university also recently announced the launch of VIU International Refugee Newcomer Awards of up to $5,000 each, which will support newcomers who have arrived as refugees and are seeking post-secondary education to train or retrain for a career in Canada; and joined the Scholars at Risk program, which assists academics who are fleeing violence or persecution in their home country.

To read more about VIU’s commitment to international education and work with student refugees, click here.