Canadian educational institutions support Afghan newcomers

News release

March 4, 2022—Ottawa, Ontario – The Government of Canada is working hard to resettle at least 40,000 Afghan nationals as quickly and safely as possible. Canada has now welcomed a total of 8,580 Afghan refugees, with more arriving every week.

Canadians continue to play an active role in welcoming Afghans to Canada, and educational institutions are helping these newcomers gain access to valuable career training programs. Last month, CDI College launched a specialized tuition bursary program for refugees. The bursary offers a 25% tuition rebate upon program completion, in addition to language training and job placement services after graduation.

Further examples of educational supports for Afghan newcomers include:

  • Western University in London, Ontario, created new scholarships for Afghan students that will cover tuition, fees, and living expenses of up to $100,000 over four years of study.
  • Fanshawe College in London, Ontario, developed a new scholarship program to offer free tuition for five students from Afghanistan.
  • Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, will welcome a refugee student from Afghanistan in fall 2022, with additional funding support from World University Services of Canada, the University, and Mount Allison students.
  • The Afghan Women’s Organization and Immigrant Services, a Toronto non-profit organization, partnered with a local tech company to provide 55 computers, tablets, and cellphones to newcomer families looking to study or work online.

For many new arrivals, obtaining or upgrading their education is a critical first step toward finding financial independence and success in the Canadian workforce. Newcomers also help ease Canada’s labour shortages by filling key vacancies, and will play an important role in the country’s post-pandemic economic growth.

Individuals, businesses, or institutions looking to get involved in the resettlement of Afghan refugees through volunteering, donating, sponsoring or supporting the wider resettlement efforts can learn more about how Canadians can help.

Photos of previous arrivals are available in Dropbox for use by media. You can also monitor Canada’s progress on welcoming Afghan refugees to Canada.


“I’m heartened to see Canadians across the country continue to support some of the world’s most vulnerable, and I’m proud that our country’s colleges and universities are helping break down financial barriers faced by many Afghan newcomers. Be it language training, skills upgrades, or post-secondary studies, these opportunities will open doors for our new arrivals while helping Canada address our labour shortage and grow the economy.”

– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick facts

  • Arrivals to date include refugees approved through the special immigration program for Afghans who assisted the Government of Canada; privately sponsored refugees; refugees referred by the United States, Front Line Defenders and the United Nations Refugee Agency.

  • During the month of February 2022, a total of 176 privately sponsored refugees and 1,095 government-assisted refugees arrived in Canada.

  • The Afghan Women’s Organization Refugee and Immigrant Services (AWO) is founded and led by refugee women. It provides settlement services to all newcomers, with a special focus on women, their families, refugees, and people who have experienced war and persecution. AWO is also a Sponsorship Agreement Holder and has sponsored and successfully settled over 5,000 refugees from around the world.

Associated links


Contacts for media only

Aidan Strickland
Press Secretary
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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