The Student Refugee Program (SRP) is the only one of its kind to combine resettlement with opportunities for higher education. Launched in 1978 with the placement of one student at Carleton University, the program provides a year of full financial sponsorship, integration assistance, and a continuous community of support. Through its agreements with the Government of Canada and the Government of Québec (a Canadian province), WUSC enables students sponsored through the program to enter Canada as Permanent Residents.
The SRP is a unique program that combines resettlement to Canada with access to post-secondary education for young refugees. It is managed by World University Service of Canada (WUSC), a leading non-profit Canadian international development agency. The SRP is supported by WUSC Local Committees (made up of university, college, and CEGEP students, staff, and faculty) on campuses across Canada.
WUSC resettles refugee students residing in Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda who face barriers accessing university in their country of asylum. The refugee camps WUSC works in includes but is not limited to Kakuma, Dadaab, Dzaleka, Nyarugusu, and Kampala. SRP students spend a full year in intensive language training, academic preparation classes, and pre-departure sessions that better ensure their success upon arrival.
Going beyond resettlement, the SRP also provides an innovative pathway to integration for young refugees. A 2007 study found that 97 percent of sponsored students had completed or were in the process of completing their post-secondary program with many intending to further their education. The vast majority – 85 percent – had found work in their chosen fields after graduation.