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Which universities are offering support to students displaced by the Ukraine crisis?

By Craig O

Updated March 24, 2022 Updated March 24, 2022

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has impacted the study plans of thousands of current and prospective students from Ukraine itself and internationally. This article outlines some of the initiatives that have been put in place by universities around the world to help impacted students continue with their academic studies and fulfil their potential. 

Global initiatives 

While predominantly European in focus, an extensive collection of resources and offers from international organisations available on the Deutsch-Ukrainische Akademische Gesellschaft website

The website Science for Ukraine (started by Sanita Reinsome, a science communicator working on a COST Action project in eastern Europe), is compiling hundreds of job opportunities for academics and researchers around the world, as well as offers of accommodation. 

Studying in continental Europe 

The European University Association (EUA) has compiled a Twitter list containing concrete support offers to Ukrainian students and academics from European universities and research institutions, covering a wide range of study destinations and academic disciplines. 

Recent examples of initiatives include: 

Toomas Asser, rector of the University of Tartu in Estonia has said they are preparing for an influx of displaced students: “We are trying to make some space for them, to give them an option...Some of the family members expect to come to Estonia, so we are trying to organise financial support.” 

IE University in Spain has announced that the IE Law School legal clinic will develop a legal guide in Ukrainian and English that explains the basic regulations and procedures for refugees from Ukraine upon arrival in Spain. 

ESCP Business School is offering a tuition-free certificate programme to 50 refugees on each of its European campuses, training 300 individuals in total. The school has also announced scholarships which are available to all Ukrainian students for the upcoming academic year. 

In France, an emergency fund for Ukrainian and Russian students has been set up by Fondation Université de Strasbourg to help current students at the university that have been impacted and also provide bridging scholarships to students arriving from war-torn regions. 

The University of Bordeaux has told QS it will be taking in Ukrainian researchers through PAUSE (Programme national d'Accueil en Urgence de Scientifiques en Exil), and they are ready to respond to any future requests.  

In Switzerland, the University of Geneva has extended the application deadline to April 30, so that Ukrainian students who have left their country will have time to register.  

In Romania, the University of Bucharest has arranged more than 300 accommodation places for impacted students. Volunteers from the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures have also assisted with translating documents into Ukrainian and collaborated with organisations offering interpreters and translation services.   

Studying in the United Kingdom 

In late February, the UK government announced some concessions to immigration policy, although these only apply to Ukrainian nationals and their dependants who have lawfully entered the UK prior to 24 February or made an entry clearance application before that date. 

Imperial College London has launched a new scholarship fund to support students from displaced communities, including Ukraine. The fund will provide scholarships at both undergraduate and master’s level, with the first scholarships intended for the 2022/23 academic year. 

Studying in Canada 

Canada has established a dedicated channel for Ukraine immigration enquiries, which can be used by both those in Canada and abroad. 

Studying in Australia & New Zealand 

Any Ukrainian national currently residing in Australia whose visa is expiring before 30 June 2022 will be given an automatic extension for six months. The Department is contacting these expiring visas proactively.  

The Department of Home Affairs is also progressing outstanding visa applications from Ukrainian nationals as a priority, across all visa categories. Nominated close family members and legally authorised persons can apply on behalf of their family members in Ukraine. 

In New Zealand, Immigration New Zealand is prioritising urgent visa applications from Ukrainian nationals. For Ukrainian nationals currently in New Zealand whose visas expire before the end of the year, they can remain lawfully for a further 12 months.  

Ukrainian citizens offshore holding valid New Zealand visas will be able to enter New Zealand without waiting for the borders to reopen, if they meet COVID-19 health requirements to travel. 

Photo by Karollyne Hubert on Unsplash

This article was originally published in March 2022 .

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Written by

As Head of Content, Craig is responsible for all articles and guides published across TopUniversities and TopMBA. He has nearly 10 years of experience writing for a student audience and extensive knowledge of universities and study programs around the world.

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