Refugees, Higher Education, and Informational Barriers

Authors

  • Jaswant Kaur Bajwa Centre for Preparatory & Liberal Studies, George Brown College
  • Sidonia Couto Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture
  • Sean Kidd Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Roula Markoulakis Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and George Brown College
  • Mulugeta Abai Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture
  • Kwame McKenzie Wellesley Institute and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.7202/1043063ar

Abstract

The purpose of the qualitative study was to explore the experiences, needs, barriers, and expectations of survivors of torture and/or war, interested in entering post-secondary education in Canada. We conducted 38 interviews with participants from the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT), 10 interviews with CCVT staff, and 1 focus group with 3 participants, which followed a semi-structured interview guide, and were analyzed using a constant comparative method. Survivors of torture and/or war report experiencing informational barriers to navigating educational pathways, accessing professional supports, evaluating credentials, financing education, navigating immigration systems, using online resources, delaying their educational progress, and contributing to mental health distress.

Author Biographies

Jaswant Kaur Bajwa, Centre for Preparatory & Liberal Studies, George Brown College

Jaswant Kaur Bajwa is a professor and research lead in the Centre for Preparatory & Liberal Studies at George Brown College. The author may be contacted at jkaur@georgebrown.ca.

 

 

Sidonia Couto, Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture

Sidonia Couto is a registered social worker and worked with the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture at the time of this research. The author can be contacted at sidonia_01@hotmail.com.

Sean Kidd, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Sean Kidd is a clinical psychologist and clinician scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. The author can be contacted at sean.kidd@camh.ca.

Roula Markoulakis, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and George Brown College

Roula Markoulakis is a research assistant at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. She worked at George Brown College to support this research. She can be contacted at roula.markoulakis@sunnybrook.ca.

Mulugeta Abai, Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture

Mulugeta Abai is the executive director of the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture. The author can be reached at mabai@ccvt.org.

Kwame McKenzie, Wellesley Institute and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Kwame McKenzie is the CEO of the Wellesley Institute and a psychiatrist with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. The author can be reached at kwame@wellesleyinstitute.com.

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Published

2017-11-03

How to Cite

Bajwa, J. K., Couto, S., Kidd, S., Markoulakis, R., Abai, M., & McKenzie, K. (2017). Refugees, Higher Education, and Informational Barriers. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 33(2), 56–65. https://doi.org/10.7202/1043063ar