Campus News

Tuqa Al-Mosawi wants to increase the student fee levy for the World University Service of Canada Student Refugee Program that made her a Canadian permanent resident and UVic student

During this year’s UVSS election, students will have the opportunity to vote on a referendum question to potentially increase the WUSC (World University Service of Canada) UVic‘s fee levy. From UVSS and GSS fees, the group currently receives $2.50 per full-time undergraduate student, $1.25 per part-time undergraduate and co-op student, $3.00 per full-time graduate student, and $1.50 per graduate co-op student. If passed, the referendum would increase WUSC UVic’s levy to $4.00 per full-time undergraduate, $2.00 per part-time undergraduate or co-op student, $5.00 per full-time graduate student, and $2.50 per graduate co-op student. 

For Tuqa Al-Mosawi, the proposed referendum on increasing the student levies granted to WUSC (World University Service of Canada) UVic is deeply personal. Originally from Iraq, she was studying medicine in Libya when war forced her to flee to Lebanon where, as a refugee, she was unable to apply for school. Thanks to WUSC’s Student Refugee Program, which sponsors refugees who cannot access post-secondary education in their host countries to study in Canada and offers them permanent residency upon arrival, Al-Mosawi is now studying biology at the University of Victoria — something that she wants to make possible for more refugee students.

Currently, WUSC UVic can only sponsor three students each year, and support is only available for those students for one year. Passing this referendum would allow WUSC UVic to guarantee sponsorship for four students each year, and extend support past students’ first year. 

“I know this program is actually working because I wasn’t able to study for four years [in Lebanon],” said Al-Mosawi, whose siblings were also able to come study in Canada (thanks to WUSC). “From thinking that you actually can’t study, and you don’t know when you’re going to have the opportunity — and then a program like this comes and tells you, ‘You can come here, live, and study.’ It’s a really great thing and I hope more people can have it.”

Voting for the UVSS elections will take place from March 4 to 6. The Martlet and CFUV are co-hosting two election events, the All Candidates and Referenda Forum on March 2 and the Lead Directors Debate on March 3, both at 2:30 in the Vertigo lounge.