WUSC is a global development organization that focuses on improving the lives of youth, particularly refugees. With over 40 years of experience, the organization has implemented the Student Refugee Program and helped more than 2,500 young refugees from 39 countries achieve permanent residency and continue their education in safe environments. WUSC has provided guidance and technical assistance on developing complementary pathways, mainly through third-country education opportunities, to stakeholders globally. Its Durable Solutions team has supported higher education institutions, non-governmental organizations, governments, and multilateral organizations from over 20 countries.

As an institute supporting the Technical Assistance Partnership (TAP) initiative, WUSC, alongside its Canadian experts on immigration and educational services for refugees, Michelle Manks and Andrée Ménard, will work collaboratively with the Government of Mexico to strengthen the capacity of the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR) representatives to develop more viable, efficient, and gender-sensitive structures, processes, and internal systems.

WUSC works closely with various stakeholders, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Canadian High Commissions, embassies, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and government ministries, to facilitate the arrival of refugee students to Canada. As co-chair of the Global Task Force on Third Country Education Pathways (GTF), WUSC aims to remove barriers and create opportunities for refugees to access higher education in third countries.

WUSC Expert Profiles

Michelle Manks
Michelle is the Senior Manager of WUSC’s Durable Solutions for Refugees programming, with 15 years of experience working on the Student Refugee Program. She has overseen the tripling of the program and the introduction of self-sustaining funding mechanisms. Michelle provides guidance to parliamentarians, governments, NGOs, and higher education communities globally on institutional and student engagement for refugee integration and the creation of legal pathways to protection through education. Michelle holds a BBA, a Master’s in Conflict Studies, and a diploma in Forced Migration and Refugee Studies.

Andrée Ménard
Andrée is the Durable Solutions for Refugees Specialist at WUSC. In this role, she provides technical assistance and guidance to emerging education pathway programs globally. She also manages, implements and develops initiatives dedicated to growing innovative complementary pathways and durable solutions, and to improving education and economic opportunities
for refugees. Andrée is also responsible for related initiatives’ stakeholder relations and supports WUSC’s flagship Student Refugee Program. She previously worked for Global Affairs Canada and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Ecuador. She holds a Master’s in Sociology and a specialization in International Development and Globalization.