Update on support for those affected by the war in Ukraine
You may remember that in March this year, the University created a fund of £500,000 to be used flexibly through a variety of schemes to support students and staff affected by the war in Ukraine. Over the last two months, we have been working hard to provide support in a number of different ways.
To date, we have awarded more than £150,000 in direct support payments, fee waivers and living cost bursaries to some of our current and prospective students based upon their individual needs – supporting 13 individuals. Support has been prioritised for students from Ukraine but has also included support, as needed, for Russian students who have been affected by the situation.
We will be welcoming a number of new students, who have been displaced from their studies at home in Ukraine, to commence study at the University in September. We are expecting the first of this group of students to join us in Birmingham in July. They will be able to benefit from free accommodation for the summer and free pre-sessional English support from the Birmingham International Academy, as well as help with settling into life in the UK, with kitchen and bedding packs on arrival and a three-month free Sports & Fitness membership.
Our offer of support on arrival is also extended to new staff fellows that we are seeking to host through the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA). The University has been a long-standing supporter of CARA and we have increased our financial commitment by up to £100,000, with support currently being offered to three additional Ukrainian academics to join us in Birmingham.
Lastly, as well as support for staff and students, the University is developing a twinning partnership with Ivan Franko National University of Lviv (IFNUL). It is the oldest institution of higher learning in present-day Ukraine, dating from 1661, and we are currently working to further develop the areas for collaboration as part of this promising partnership.
Professor Robin Mason ORB
University of Birmingham