Concordia to create scholarship for Syrian refugees

Concordia University is creating a new scholarship fund to help Syrian refugees get a degree in Canada.

University's chancellor pledges $50,000 of his own money to launch scholarship fund

Concordia University's new scholarship fund will pay for as many as five Syrian refugee students. (Muhammad Hamed/Reuters)

Concordia University is creating a new scholarship fund to help Syrian refugees get a degree in Canada.

The university's vice-president of advancement and external relations, Bram Freedman, told CBC Montreal's Homerun the new scholarship fund will pay for the tuition and associated fees for as many as five Syrian refugee students for the duration of their studies. 

Concordia had initially decided to create two scholarships.

Then, Concordia's chancellor, Jonathan Wener, made a personal pledge of $50,000 to increase the fund.

Concordia University's chancellor, Jonathan Wener, helped launch a new scholarship fund for Syrian refugees with a personal donation of $50,000. (Concordia University)
Two students have already submitted applications for the new scholarships.

These students are applying through Concordia's partner organization, the Syrian Kids' Foundation, a Canadian charity that runs a high school in Turkey for Syrian refugees.

The foundation also covers the cost of sponsoring these students and the fees to process their documents.

Concordia is hoping that the applicants will succeed in getting to Canada in time to start university classes in September 2016.

One challenge of integrating refugee students into courses at Concordia is ensuring that their academic level matches those of their classmates.

The university said it is committed to supporting students in this process, especially when it comes to assessing the quality of the education they have received until now.

"We try to be flexible when we deal with people in regions like these: They don't have access to their grades in Syria," said Freedman.

"If there are bridge courses needed, we can accommodate those needs."

The university expects to maintain and possibly increase the scholarship fund by reaching out to other donors. 


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