This blog was written by SAMU’s Community Assistant, Karman Ngan.
What is the SRP?
SRP stands for Student Refugee Program, and SAMU runs it in partnership with WUSC, the World University Service of Canada (wusc.ca). The Student Refugee Program is a refugee resettlement program that enables refugee students to enter Canada as permanent residents and pursue their education at Canadian universities and colleges. WUSC identifies refugee students who are in need of resettlement and grants permission to local committees to sponsor in WUSC’s name.
A portion of your student fees ($2.50 per semester) supports this program and hosts a student for the duration of their degree. Once the student has arrived, they become a permanent residence of Canada, live in MacEwan Residence, and attend classes. SAMU applies to sponsor a new student every two years.
A local committee (LC) makes up the SRP here at SAMU. Each university handles the creation of their LC’s differently, but our LC includes part-time staff, full-time staff and students. With the local committee’s help, we ensure all the sponsored student’s needs are met during their time here at MacEwan. This help can include anything from helping the student settle into life at MacEwan to applying for essential government documents.
What does the Local Committee look like?
Our current local committee has seven members, each with a specific role in running the SRP and assisting the sponsored student. This committee’s roles include Chair, SRP Secretary, Academic Rep, Financial Rep, Social Rep, Wellbeing Rep and Settlement/Post-Sponsorship Rep.
- The chair oversees the program and is the primary contact with WUSC. They ensure the timely completion of tasks and make sure everything goes smoothly.
- The SRP secretary assists the chair and SRP reps with their various task and meetings and builds and implements training for all LC members.
- The academic rep ensures the student is enrolled at MacEwan and provides ongoing support for the student with all things academic. This support can include providing academic resources, enrollment in classes, check-ins during exam season, etc.
- The financial rep oversees the budget and financial matters for the program. They also provide information and assistance for the student’s financial needs, including banking and personal budgeting.
- The social rep ensures the student’s social needs are met (especially now during the pandemic) and introduces the student to Canadian culture and customs.
- The wellbeing rep ensures that the student has all of their health and wellbeing needs met. This aid can include, but is not limited to, assisting in doctor visits and scheduling check-ins to ensure the student’s overall wellbeing.
- The settlement/post-sponsorship (S-PS) rep is responsible for going over any non-academic applications and government forms. Their role also includes organizing the student’s stay at MacEwan Residence and ensuring their home-needs are covered. The S-PS rep will provide ongoing support for the student and help prepare them for the post-sponsorship life.
What does the SRP cover?
In addition to the local committee’s ongoing support, SAMU covers tuition and other expenses for the SRP student. With the help of your student fees, the sponsored student will have their tuition and fees paid for the duration of their degree (for four years or 120 credits). The student will also be provided with accommodation for four years at MacEwan Residence. From the student’s first year through the third year of their sponsorship, they will also be provided with a monthly stipend to help assist in living costs, such as groceries, phone bill and any necessary purchases. During their sponsorship period, the local committee will assist the student in resume building, finding a job, applying for accommodation, etc. to help their transition out of sponsorship.
Thanks to MacEwan University student’s support in a referendum back in 2007, we can help change students’ lives through the Student Refugee Program. According to WUSC, a study in 2007 found that 97% of sponsored students have completed or is in process of completing their post-secondary program, and the vast majority (85%) of students has found work in their chosen fields after graduation. Thank you for reading and learning about the SRP, if you have any questions please email email@example.com!
For more information on WUSC and the Student Refugee Program:
SAMU presents: The Student Refugee Program – https://vimeo.com/85850149