Ukrainian students to be given extra support – Donelan

Among measures announced by the universities minister, Ukrainian students will be eligible for home fee status, with more than £4m of additional hardship funding available to their universities

Ukrainian students have been assured by the universities minister that they will be given the support they need to complete their courses, including being eligible for home fee status.

“I cannot imagine ever having to balance studying against the backdrop of an unprovoked war on my country,” said Michelle Donelan. “We need to stand united with Ukraine.”

The backing includes the provision of more than £4 million of additional hardship funding available to students’ universities, extended access to HE student support, and tuition fee caps.

In an open letter to Ukrainian students, Donelan said: “This additional funding has been provided to help you to continue your studies and reduce the impact of any adverse financial implications of the conflict on your ability to learn.”

She also noted the “extremely positive response from the higher education sector” and “significant support” that universities had already offered.

Students affected by the war in Ukraine will be able to access support on the same basis as those in other protection-based categories, such as refugees.

In related news: Scottish universities welcome free tuition pledge for Ukrainian students

“You would not be required to meet a three-year period of ordinary residence for HE support, Advanced Learner Loans or FE19+ funding,” said Donelan, “but would need only to have been ordinarily resident in the UK since your grant of leave.”

News of the additional support was welcomed by president of Universities UK, Professor Steve West.

“From the beginning of this crisis our members have been determined to find new ways to help their Ukrainian colleagues and friends,” he said. “This funding offers practical, financial support for Ukrainian students affected by the conflict who are already studying here, as well as those feeling violence and terror. Our message to those individuals is simple: you are welcome here.

“The UK’s higher education sector can and must play a pivotal role in ensuring that Ukraine’s citizens, educational institutions and cultural capital can not only survive this crisis but emerge stronger.”

Following publication of her letter, Donelan said: “My plea is for Ukrainian students to remember they are not alone – we are working closely across government and with universities to make sure that Ukrainian students have the support they need.

“Our sector is extremely proud that so many Ukrainian students have chosen to study in our world-class higher education system, and we will be with them throughout their studies to ensure they reap its benefits.”

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