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Cambridge University Help for Ukraine is launched for students and academics displaced by the war





A comprehensive package of support for students and academics displaced by the war on Ukraine is being launched by the University of Cambridge today (June 27).

Cambridge University Help for Ukraine has been developed in partnership with the Ukrainian government and universities. It will support those forced to leave Ukraine or are unable to return, as well as those who have remained, to ensure the country’s higher education sector continues to operate.

A vigil held at the University of Cambridge Senate House for all those affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Picture: Cambridge University (57544632)
A vigil held at the University of Cambridge Senate House for all those affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Picture: Cambridge University (57544632)

The package includes fully-funded residential placements across a range of subjects for more than 30 students and academics to continue their studies and research in Cambridge, clinical placements for medical students, and help for academics working in Ukraine. A hardship fund is already helping affected students currently studying in Cambridge, and plans to boost the studies of evacuated Ukrainian schoolchildren are also being developed.

Cambridge University Help for Ukraine was developed by bringing together capacity, expertise and good will from across the collegiate university to support academics and students during the conflict.

Professor Stephen J Toope, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell
Professor Stephen J Toope, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen J Toope said: “Since the start of the invasion, the university has been working with education leaders in Ukraine to support academics and students whose lives have been torn apart in this humanitarian tragedy.

“From the online resources which were immediately made available to displaced Ukrainian students at the beginning of the conflict, through to the comprehensive package of support that now makes up Cambridge University Help for Ukraine, there has been an undiminished determination across our community to do everything we can, and to stand with Ukraine.”

Professor Kamal Munir, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (university community and engagement), added: “Cambridge University Help for Ukraine will provide support, and safe and nurturing environments for academics, and their dependants, displaced by the conflict. Education can be a source of light in times of darkness, and this programme of help will allow students and researchers to continue their vital work and one day contribute to the rebuilding of their country.”

Professor Kamal Munir, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (university community and engagement) at the University of Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell
Professor Kamal Munir, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (university community and engagement) at the University of Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

The scheme includes the following initiatives:

  • Fully-funded residential placements for visiting doctoral students: For up to 10 doctoral students displaced by the war to study in Cambridge. The university will provide further funding for their dependants, including a contribution to settlement costs.
  • Fully-funded residential placements for academics: For up to 10 academics displaced by the war to continue their studies and research. The university will provide further funding for each dependent relocating to Cambridge with those academics.
  • Clinical placements for students of Kharkiv National Medical University: The University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine has signed a twinning agreement with Kharkiv National Medical University to accept medical students on seven-week clinical placements in Cambridge. Students will be placed at either Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust or Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust. All students will be hosted at a college. Twenty-two students will take part and, subject to the government granting visiting visas, they will start at the end of July.
  • Financial and non-residential support for researchers in Ukraine: In partnership with the National Research Foundation of Ukraine (NRFU), and subject to final agreement, the university is working to provide individual grants for Ukrainian researchers displaced by the war who are currently living in Ukraine. It will also provide formal links to Cambridge departments and remote access to resources to continue academic study.
  • Rowan Williams Cambridge Studentships: Funding for more than 10 Ukrainian students through a programme established by the Cambridge Trust to support undergraduate and postgraduate students applying to study at Cambridge from a conflict zone. The Rowan Williams Scholarships will be fully funded, covering tuition fees and maintenance and will also assist with travel and visa costs.
  • University of Cambridge Ukrainian Conflict Student Hardship Fund: The university has so far identified more than 20 students studying in Cambridge who have been directly affected by the war. They are being supported through the hardship fund.
  • Cambridge Partnership for Education, part of Cambridge University Press and Assessment, is working with the Ministry of Education of Ukraine and other partners to support Ukrainian children currently seeking refuge in other nations, as well as other ways to support the Ukrainian education system reform. Following an in-person meeting with minister Serhiy Shkarlet and his team in London in May, collaboration is being explored in four areas: (a) curriculum mapping and related support with transition, (b) support with teacher professional development, (c) ongoing monitoring and assessment of Ukrainian students in other systems, and (d) long-term support with the return and reintegration of Ukrainian students into their system, and possible strengthening of the system in terms of international comparability and resilience.
Dr Rory Finnin, associate professor of Ukrainian Studies at Cambridge University. Picture: Myhyta Zavilinskyi
Dr Rory Finnin, associate professor of Ukrainian Studies at Cambridge University. Picture: Myhyta Zavilinskyi

Dr Rory Finnin, university associate professor of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Cambridge, said: “The university has worked with Ukrainian institutions of higher education to put together a consciously multi-pronged strategy of support that looks both to the present and the future.

“All of our measures and actions are being taken to help strengthen Ukraine’s institutions in sustainable ways and to show how the University of Cambridge stands with a free, independent, sovereign Ukraine and its people - now and into the future.”

During their time in Cambridge, academics and students funded by the Cambridge University Help for Ukraine residential placements will be hosted either by individuals or by colleges. The university is working with Cambridge4Ukraine, an initiative connecting refugees and hosts in the UK.

The Senate House of the University of Cambridge.
The Senate House of the University of Cambridge.

Oksana Hetman, president of the Cambridge University Ukrainian Society, said: “Ukrainian scholars are hiding in the basements without water or food, fighting on the frontlines and often losing the closest ones due to the ongoing war. These are incomparable abruptions to face. Every student or researcher continuing their work despite the war is a win both for Ukraine and for the global academic and scientific community.”

For more information visit cam.ac.uk/ukraine.

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In pictures: University of Cambridge shows its support for the people of Ukraine with vigil



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