Campus News

an outside view of Lethbridge College's main entrance and parking loopAs part of its commitment to education as a fundamental human right, Lethbridge College has created a Humanitarian Program to offer financial support to students recognized under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

The new award expands on a commitment made to Colleges and Institutes Canada in April 2022, to offer scholarships to displaced Ukrainian students.

“It is critical that we support and empower refugees and protected persons by providing opportunities for higher education,” says Dr. Samantha Lenci, Lethbridge College’s Provost and Vice President Academic. “This Humanitarian Program will assist students fleeing Ukraine and other areas of conflict, so they can create a new foundation with which to rebuild their lives.”

To be considered for Humanitarian Program support, international students must provide one of the following: documentation of a pending refugee claim; a pending claim for permanent residency status under humanitarian or compassionate grounds; official notice confirming Protected Persons status; or documentation demonstrating they qualify under special measures by the Government of Canada such as Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET).

Awards will be given to those who demonstrate the greatest financial need, including those who are in Canada on government sponsorship.

“Our international students are resilient and motivated to create a better life for themselves and, often times, their families,” says Chiye Kinjo, International Services manager. “Many have successfully settled in our community upon completion of their studies at Lethbridge College, adding to the rich diversity of our city.”

The Lethbridge College Humanitarian Program will provide domestic tuition rates for up to 10 international students each academic year. Eligible students must be in Canada on a study permit and enrolled at the college full-time. Applicants will also be asked to submit a brief essay on their aspirations and how Lethbridge College can help them achieve their goals.

Thanks to the generous support of local philanthropist Steve Meszaros and the Meszaros International Fund, tuition and the cost of textbooks will be waived entirely for two students per academic year for a maximum two-year program.

Lending a helping hand to international students fleeing conflict is deeply personal for Meszaros. He was five years old when he and his family fled their hometown of Budapest during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. They settled in Lethbridge in 1958. After graduating from Lethbridge College’s Business Administration program in 1976, Meszaros built a successful career in real estate and later founded the award-winning Avonlea Homes.

“I owe a great deal to Lethbridge College and am pleased to give back to the place that opened so many doors for me in my life,” says Meszaros. “Supporting international students who are working toward a better life in Canada benefits not only them, but our entire community, as they share their strong work ethic and values with us.”

For more information on the Lethbridge College Humanitarian Program, including eligibility requirements, please visit International Services.