Ontario Refugee Students’ Persistence and Graduation Research Project

The Newcomer Students’ Association (NSA) is collaborating with Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) on a research project about refugee students’ postsecondary experiences and outcomes. The results of the research will be used to help improve policies and practices that support refugee students in Ontario.

“This exciting partnership will help ensure Ontario’s colleges and universities are accessible and supportive for refugee students in the years ahead. Our research project with NSA will help HEQCO understand the factors that empower refugee students to thrive during and after their postsecondary education.”

Julia Colyar, HECQO Vice President, Research and Policy

The project aims to answer:

  1. What are the outcomes for refugee students in Ontario compared to domestic students?
  2. What are some of the barriers to completing postsecondary programs for refugee students in Ontario?
  3. What are some of the factors that contribute to the persistence of refugee students attending Ontario postsecondary institutions?

“This timely project in partnership with HEQCO will allow us to better understand the lived experiences of refugee students in Ontario higher education institutions including the challenges they face and the facilitators that promote and support their engagement, success and graduation. “

Sara Asalya, NSA Executive Director

Current refugee students and graduates – we want to hear from you!

  • You came to Canada (within the last 10 years) as a refugee & have a legal status in Canada (e.g. Permanent resident, Convention refugee, Protected Person);


  • You are currently enrolled in, or have completed (with the last three years), a graduate program (masters or doctoral program) at an Ontario University OR a minimum 1-year program at an Ontario College.

If you meet the criteria, please register here.

What to expect
  • Interviews will be conducted over zoom with the option to call in and/or turn cameras off.
  • Interviews will be approximately 45 minutes (no more than an hour).
  • Interviews will not be (audio/video) recorded, but HEQCO staff will take notes.
  • Interviewees can decline to answer any questions they choose.

Interviewees will be given a $25 gift card as a token of appreciation for your time and participation in the study.


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