Western University

WesternU - Helping Syria

WesternU helps Syria

Together Western and its people are committed to doing what we can to assist refugees fleeing Syria. Several initiatives are already underway, and we want to hear from faculty, staff and students who have suggestions and/or are looking for ways to provide support.

For a number of years, Western University has been involved in efforts to support refugees in crisis from around the world. In response to the Syrian humanitarian crisis specifically, the Western University community is responding in the following ways:


Western University, led by the Faculty of Social Science and in partnership with the London Cross Cultural Learner Centre, is raising funds for a G5 Private Sponsorship Application for a Syrian refugee family. The initial goal is to raise funds to sponsor one Syrian refugee family to London, at a cost of $30,000 for a family of five refugees. If more than this amount is received and commitments from individuals to become part of a sponsorship team are made, this can be expanded to include more refugee families.

For more information and to donate toward the Refugee Sponsorship Fund, click here or contact: Victoria Esses, Director, Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations


Western is currently working to establish 10 Syrian refugee student awards that will cover tuition and living costs for up to 10 Syrian students admitted to Western as early as January 2016. To be eligible for a Syrian Refugee Award, applicants must be Syrian citizens or residents with satisfactory academic standing who have been admitted to begin studies in a Western University degree program. Western International will work with World University Service of Canada (WUSC) to identify applicants and the awards will be administered through Western’s Office of the Registrar.

For more information please contact: Glen Tigert, University Registrar.


Scholars at Risk is an international network of institutions and individuals working to promote academic freedom and to defend the human rights of scholars worldwide. As a member of the Canadian section of Scholars at Risk, Western is able to host identified scholars who face severe human rights abuses in their home country so that they may continue their work in a safe environment. Through this program and other avenues, Western is currently working to identify Syrian scholars that could be brought to the university. Central administration will work with Faculties to share the costs of this program. Those with interest in this program should connect directly with their respective academic Deans.

For more information please contact: Julie McMullin, Vice-Provost (International).


Western is interested in learning about any other initiatives taking place on campus in response to the Syrian humanitarian crisis. Please email helpsyria@uwo.ca.