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An Exploratory Study of Resilience in Refugee Post-Secondary Students

  • Author / Creator
    Wong, Andrew Hon Cheung
  • Refugees are faced with a variety of challenges throughout the migration journey. One unique refugee population that has been neglected in the body of research is post-secondary refugee students. World University Services of Canada (WUSC) annually sponsors 70 refugee students to attend Canadian post-secondary schools. It is reasonable to expect that students under this program may experience a number of resettlement challenges especially when they are expected to excel academically soon after arriving in the country. Yet, it is remarkable that 85% of WUSC sponsored students graduate with a Bachelor’s degree (WUSC, 2007). The ecological-transactional model of resilience was utilized to understand the multifaceted nature of resilience in this refugee population. Using a qualitative case study method, four WUSC sponsored post-secondary refugee students living across Canada were interviewed. Results revealed unique migration trajectories and pre- and post-migration challenges for this population that differed from other immigrant groups. Furthermore, the results suggest that resilience is cultivated by the interactions between family, community, and educational supports as well as policies and cultural beliefs that enhance one’s ability to cope. These salient findings inform the need to reform post-secondary institutions, non-profit organizations, and government policies in order to foster successful resettlement for post-secondary refugee students in Canada.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2013-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3BZ61H3G
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Doctoral
  • Department
    • Department of Educational Psychology
  • Specialization
    • Counselling Psychology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Yohani, Sophie (Educational Psychology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Merali, Noorfarah (Educational Psychology)
    • Pei, Jacqueline (Educational Psychology)
    • Richter, Solina (Nursing)
    • Rossiter, Marian (Educational Psychology)
    • Este, David (Social Work, University of Calgary)