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DfE grants hardship funds and home status to Ukrainian students


Ministers allocate £4 million to support students at English providers

The Department for Education has said it will provide additional hardship funding to help universities support students affected by the war in Ukraine.

The Office for Students will distribute £4 million to higher education providers in England to to help Ukrainian nationals and Ukrainian-domiciled students who have been financially affected by the Russian invasion.

Ministers have also announced that Ukrainian students studying in the UK have been granted home fee status, meaning they pay the same tuition fees as domestic students rather than the more expensive international student fees.

‘United with Ukraine’

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

She added: “That is why at this difficult time, we are providing Ukrainian students in higher education with the support they need to complete their courses.”

Universities must distribute their allocation of the funding to Ukrainian students who are facing hardship, the OfS says, and all funding must be used by providers by the end of the 2022–23 financial year.

“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,” Donelan added.

‘Pivotal role’ for UK higher education

Steve West, president of Universities UK and vice-chancellor of the University of the West of England Bristol, said university leaders had been “determined to find new ways to help their Ukrainian colleagues and friends”.

“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,” he added.

“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.”

Donelan addresses Ukrainian students

Meanwhile, Donelan has written an open letter to students affected by the war in Ukraine.

“Given the uncertainty that I am sure many of you are currently facing, the Department for Education has been working across government and with the higher education sector to ensure you are supported throughout your studies during this time,” she wrote.

“The government and I recognise the important contribution you make to the UK’s higher education sector, and we are extremely proud that so many students from Ukraine have chosen to study here.”

According to the OfS, there are 775 Ukrainian and 3,030 Russian students studying at English universities and colleges.