A Way Forward for Refugees: Findings from the WES Pilot Project

Denise Jillions
Date of Publication: 
April, 2018
Source Organization: 
World Education Services

In 2017, 66 million people became refugees and asylum seekers after being displaced from their homes. World Education Services (WES), an international credential evaluation company, launched a program in 2016 called the Refugee Pilot Project, in order to test an alternative approach to verifying the academic credentials of Syrian refugees in Canada. WES started this program because refugees often have missing or incomplete documentation and their circumstances prevent them from obtaining verified documents to comply with WES's standard procedure. As detailed in this study, the assessment reports WES provided to refugees included the nature of a credential, its equivalency in Canada and information on the Syrian education system, which can be used to contextualize the results. Survey responses from refugees and stakeholders in addition to interviews with refugees, academic institutions, regulatory bodies, employers and other partners suggest that the Refugee Pilot Project was successful and well received by both the refugees and community partners. Participants found the assessment reports to be empowering and useful for refugees trying to obtain work related to their academic qualifications or to continue their education in Canada. Nearly half of surveyed organizations reported that they would use or consider using the WES assessments for credential recognition. The authors hope to further develop and expand their policies for non-verifiable documentation to serve additional populations of people who are unable to obtain official documents. (Denise Jillions for Tulane University, PHIL 3930)

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Jillions, D. (2018). A Way Forward for Refugees: Findings from the WES Pilot Project (Report) (p. 24). Toronto, Canda: World Education Services. Retrieved from https://knowledge.wes.org/rs/317-CTM-316/images/report-way-forward-refugees-full.pdf