Centre for Equitable Access to Transformative Education (CREATE)

Equity in education requires an understanding of the unique challenges and barriers faced by individual students. For the Columbia College community, this means spreading access to transformative education across diverse populations through specific systems and supports to help overcome those barriers. Since 2016, Columbia College has demonstrated both commitment and leadership in growing and expanding equitable opportunities to access an education.

Responding to the wave of Syrian Refugees arriving in Canada in 2016, Columbia College introduced Bursaries under our Student Refugee Program to help remove financial barriers to students with Refugee Backgrounds. Students in this program currently come from various conflict regions like Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Burundi, Myanmar, Ethiopia, and have carved a new path to leading Universities in Canada. They have achieved monumental success in re-launching their educational journey.

Unfortunately, forced displacement is still one of the most powerful trends impacting youth around the globe. In 2019 there were over 79 million people worldwide who were forcibly displaced. Access to education remains as one of the main barriers refugee youth experience over their lifetime.

In this environment, building on our success, the College has committed to expanding supports available for youth and aspiring students who have been forcibly displaced. With your support we can equip more youth from around the world to restart their education and begin a pathway to becoming successful leaders in the workforce of tomorrow. 

The CentRe has four primary programs to support youth facing barriers to access a higher education, described further below:  

  1. Global Scholars Program: Student Refugee Program

    a. Internal Claimant Bursary
    b. Resettlement Bursary

  2. Global Scholars Program: World University Services of Canada

    a. WUSC Local Committee

  3. Equitable Access to Education

    a. Canadian Mobility Exchange 
    b. Scholarships and Bursaries

  4. Student Emergency Support and Technology Access Program

Success Stories

Our initiatives

Ride for Refuge - 2020

During the month of September, Columbia College participated in the Ride for Refuge challenge to raise funds and awareness for World University Services of Canada Student Refugee Program. 

To pay tribute to our next student’s journey, the team’s goal was to combine walking, biking, running, and/or hiking to reach 13,866 KM, the distance between Canada and Somalia, as well as raising $2000 with all proceeds going directly to the Student Refugee Program.

Thanks to all involved, the Columbia College team had over 47 students, staff and community members participating, raising a total of 15,600km and $2,570.