Laurier’s Special Admission Policy prioritizes afghanistan applications

Photo by Darien Funk

Wilfrid Laurier University is helping Afghan refugees obtain direct admission through a special policy. 

Since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in August, the Canadian government has announced its commitment to resettle over 20,000 Afghan refugees from high-risk groups.

In response to Canada’s special immigration policy, WLU supports Afghan refugees who wish to continue their education. 

“It’s difficult when you’re dealing with these kinds of communities who are simply trying to survive. We want to make it an easier transition for those students who want to continue pursuing the education they may have been pursuing in their home country,” Julie Hummel, associate registrar for recruitment and admissions at Laurier said.

The admissions team is working hard to accommodate all refugees with “protected person” or “convention refugee status” by prioritizing their applications to undergraduate programs, entrance scholarships and transfer credits. 

We’ve acknowledged that there are communities in crisis, and as a university, we want to respond to those communities and let them know that Laurier is a safe, tolerant and welcoming place.

Julie Hummel, associate registrar for recruitment and admissions at Laurier

“We’ve developed our policy for refugees and displaced people. Admission policies can require documents to come in by certain deadlines, and we find that people in communities in crises cannot abide by those deadlines. The policy allows us to work outside of those guidelines to make special case circumstances,” Hummel said.

Although, organizing and securing these documents for incoming refugees is no easy task. 

“We’re also making these students eligible for transfer credits, and that’s a complicated and lengthy process. We have to work with the academics at Laurier to make sure the credits are transferable, and any scholarships that would be available for the student to receive in their home country would be considered at Laurier,” she said.

Additionally, Laurier is a referral partner for the World Education Service GateWay program that assesses the educational credentials of refugees who have been displaced and have limited proof of their academic achievement.

“It is a point of pride at Laurier that we have partnered with WES. We have a dedicated staff member in admissions who looks at applications from all over the world, and she helps advise those students on how to get all the necessary documents or make a case for their admission,” Hummel said.

With the effort and commitment of the undergraduate admissions team, Laurier hopes to continue to support incoming refugee students in their academic and personal success.

“We’ve acknowledged that there are communities in crisis, and as a university, we want to respond to those communities and let them know that Laurier is a safe, tolerant and welcoming place.”

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