London

Fanshawe College offers free tuition to 5 Afghan refugees

Fanshawe College has developed a new scholarship program to help refugees from Afghanistan complete a post-secondary education

The college says it's working with local agencies to identify potential candidates

The scholarship program will cover the full cost of tuition and ancillary fees for five students to complete one post-secondary program each. (CBC News)

Fanshawe College in London, Ont. has developed a new scholarship program aimed at helping refugees from Afghanistan complete a post-secondary education.

In recent weeks at least 36 refugees from Afghanistan have arrived in the city. Thousands of Afghans have been fleeing the country in fear of persecution under the Taliban, which swept to power

"We know how much they've been through," said Dave Schwartz, the executive director of reputation and brand at Fanshawe College.  "And we know post-secondary education is a great way to be successful here in Canada, and we want to play a small role in that." 

The scholarship program will cover the full cost of tuition and ancillary fees for five students to complete one post-secondary program each, Schwartz said. The scholarships are valued at $10,000. Each student will also receive an additional $500 per term for textbooks and supplies.

Schwartz said the opportunity will be available to any of the refugees, including those who already have a post-secondary degree. 

"With our programs, not only do they fine tune their English skills, but they learn what it takes to be successful in Canada specifically,"Schwartz said. "We have a lot of internationally trained candidates, and they find that Fanshawe is a great way to start a new career and a new life here in Canada." 

The college has partnered with local agencies, including the Cross Cultural Learner Centre, which is working directly with the refugees to develop a process to identify potential candidates.

Schwartz said student success teams will be working with the candidates to advise them on programs and services they need to succeed. 

"It's a full start-to-finish wraparound service that we provide," he said. 

now