Phan Thi Kim Phuc, also known as "The Girl in the Picture" is a world-renowned speaker who moves audiences by sharing her journey of forgiveness and hope. Her keynote speech will be followed by a reception featuring a book-signing and photo exhibit. This event will mark the start of the 3-day international conference.
Wilfrid Laurier University is excited to welcome delegates from around the world to a first-of-its kind conference hosted by International Students Overcoming War and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. At a time of growing humanitarian crises as a result of conflict, we will explore how students can lead in developing sustainable initiatives in partnership with their institutions of higher education.
The planning and implementation of the Students as Partners Conference is informed by the students as partners ethos. Students will represent institutions along with faculty and staff, and their contributions will be crucial to the collaborative, active-learning style workshops that will facilitate rich research-informed discussions on core conference themes. Delegates to the conference will come from a diverse array of countries. They will include youth who themselves are either refugees or who are impacted by humanitarian crises. The workshop conversations will be framed by a few carefully crafted plenary sessions featuring individuals with experience in this work. Together we will listen to each other’s stories, provide feedback on plans to initiate action, and in the process build a network of enduring relationships.
Will there be presentations of research?
Yes, there will be an opportunity to listen to a small number of presentations by researchers whose work focuses on students as partners.
Why are we putting the focus on active learning workshops rather than presentations of research?
Will I share if I have extensive experience and knowledge based on lived experience/research?
Yes, in the workshop format that fosters inclusive participation by all delegates. Active participation is a priority of this conference. The format of the workshops will avoid the dynamic created by one speaker in front of an audience. Trained facilitators at each table will ensure that the goals of the session are met by guiding the discussion and leading each group towards established outcomes.
How will we ensure equitable time to everyone participating in a group?
Trained facilitators will ensure that key questions for each session are addressed while ensuring each group stays on track.
Who is doing the facilitation?
We are asking a range of students, faculty, and professionals from around the world with experience and knowledge to help guide the delegates to answer workshop questions.
Will there be the opportunity to publish material presented at the conference?
Yes. There will be two opportunities to publish case studies and reflective writing that captures your own journey before and during the conference. A small number of pieces will be considered for publication. The International Journal of Students as Partners will publish select pieces in a Special Section in 2024. Together the UNHCR and ISOW plan to publish a broader collection of writing by conference delegates in a separate volume: Humanizing Higher Education.