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Western University offers $100K scholarships to 5 Afghan student refugees

Western University administration emphasizes that the use of the lanyards associated with the new identification system is entirely voluntary. Geoff Robins / The Canadian Press

Western University in London, Ont., is introducing a new scholarship for Afghan student refugees forced to flee their home country.

The university says the scholarship, an amount equivalent to $100,000 over four years, will be given to five students.

“It will include their tuition, cost of living (and) the support systems they need, whether it’s English language training, counselling or other supports they would need to help them be successful,” said Dr. Sarah Prichard, the acting provost and vice president of academic at Western.

Read more: Fanshawe launches scholarship program for Afghan refugees

In addition to the scholarship, the university is also funding two Afghan scholars through the Scholars at Risk network and through the Scholar Rescue Fund, which are international organizations that work to offer a safe environment, support and financial assistance for academics facing threats in their home countries.

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Prichard says the scholarships will benefit the students, scholars and the school.

“They bring their life experiences and they interact with us as a community,” she said. “I think that’s enriching for the campus… It’s important for the university (as well as) the individuals.”

Read more: London, Ont. to welcome 23 Afghan refugees starting this week

Western says it will bring together teams from Western International, Student Experience, Admissions and other faculties who can provide support ranging from housing to mental health, social, language, financial and academic support.

For incoming scholars, support will include a commitment of salary plus housing.

Western also says the scholars and their families will be connected with London Cross Cultural Learner Centre, which provides newcomers with resettlement support.

Prichard says the first round of scholarships will be handed out in the fall of 2022.

–With files from 980 CFPL’s Matthew Trevithick

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