Imperial and UCL to give funding support to displaced students and academics

London unis step up efforts to support those affected by war in Ukraine

Imperial College and UCL announced funding initiatives to support students and academics who are refugees or asylum seekers in response to the war in Ukraine.

The support will be given as scholarships to displaced students and academic staff starting as soon as the upcoming school year for Imperial, while UCL is set to fund fellowships for at-risk academics, allow current students “immediate access to assistance grants,” and give out “critical support packages” for both current and incoming students.

UCL’s provost Michael Spence said the uni has “a huge appetite to do what we can to support the people affected” for its long-established relationship with Ukrainian partners. And Imperial’s President Professor Alice Gast said providing funding support is important for the uni to “welcome students and academics from every part of the world.”

Funding support is helpful for students and academics with refugee and asylum-seeker statuses because they are classified as oversees applicants who need to pay higher tuitions and can’t access federal student loans.

Imperial announced on March 15 that they will be giving out scholarships to displaced students and academics from the Sanctuary Scholarship Fund, which now totals almost £250,000. This came after the uni’s President and Provost spoke out against Putin’s “unjustified and inhumane” invasion of Ukraine.

The fund is also in addition to the uni’s Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara) Fellowship Programme that “helps academics who are at risk of imprisonment, injury or death” and efforts to create new scholarship opportunities for students from marginalised communities or need financial support.

UCL launched a similar initiative on March 17: the Academic Sanctuary Fellowship Scheme, which will support academics that are being displaced by the ongoing war in Ukraine. The fund received the uni’s pledge of £250,000, which has already been “matched by a philanthropic pledge” to a total of £500,000.

The uni cited its “long history of meaningful academic partnership with Ukraine” and pledges to continue its work with Cara, like Imperial, “to support at-risk academics to join UCL as Fellows from other countries and locations, in addition to Ukraine.”

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