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Sunday, July 3, 2022

University launches graduate scholarship scheme for Ukrainian students

Elena Rotzokou reports.

Oxford University is planning on offering a fully-funded scholarship scheme to refugees from Ukraine in the 2022-2023 academic year. The Graduate Scholarship Scheme for Ukraine Refugees seeks to provide academic training for qualified Ukrainian graduates whose lives have been affected by the ongoing war so as to allow them to contribute toward reconstructing their country.

The scheme will award up to 20 scholarships to graduates for admission to a range of full-time, one-year postgraduate taught courses. The University and participating colleges will co-fund the scholarships, which will waive both course fees and the graduate application fee. Additionally, each Ukrainian scholar will receive free accommodation and meals in their college, as well as a grant of £7,500 to support their living and study costs. To recruit scholars, the University is planning on running a campaign during May of 2022, which will involve extensive advertising among Ukrainian universities, as well as through social media and such informal networks as the University of Oxford Ukrainian Society. Scholars may also be recruited via the UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, the family reunification route, or other routes.

Additionally, the Oxford Refugee Studies Centre will serve as a hub providing scholars with access to seminars, events, and mentorship. Professor Louise Richardson, the University’s Vice-Chancellor, has stressed the institution’s solidarity with Ukrainians: “Like others, we have been horrified by the suffering and destruction caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” she said. “Our community is united in our desire to do something to help. These scholarships represent our effort to provide an opportunity to students and academics whose scholarship has been disrupted by the war. We look forward to welcoming colleagues from Ukraine into the University of Oxford.”

Baroness Jan Royall, Principal of Somerville College and Chair of Oxford University’s Conference of Colleges, said of the new scheme: “The war in Ukraine continues to cause immense suffering and long-term repercussions for those affected. It has been inspiring to see the speed and unanimity with which the colleges have rallied to support this important new programme. In time, there will be more for us to do in order to lessen the impact of this terrible war – but this scheme will give Ukrainian students a chance to rebuild their lives now, which is invaluable.”

The opportunity was devised by Professor Lionel Tarassenko, President of Reuben College, whose paternal grandfather came from Eastern Ukraine as a refugee. He spoke extensively of the scholarship scheme: “Like everyone else, I was horrified when the conflict started in late February and immediately began to think about how best to help the people of Ukraine,” Tarassenko said. “Having been an academic in the University for the past 34 years, I had no doubt that Oxford could play its part in supporting students fleeing from the conflict. The University offers a fantastic range of high-quality Master’s courses. As the former Head of a large University Department and now the President of Oxford’s newest college, I was able, with the support of senior colleagues in the University and its colleges, to devise a graduate scholarship scheme for Ukraine refugees. I am thrilled that this scheme should now enable Oxford to welcome 20 refugee scholars starting one-year Masters courses at the beginning of next academic year.”

Beyond the particular scheme, the University is building on its commitment to supporting refugees by working on designing welfare support for current undergraduates who have been impacted by the war, as well as financial support for those who need it. Those impacted by the conflict who are due to begin their course in Oxford in October of 2022 will also have the opportunity to benefit from the University’s support plans.

Image credit: Karollyne Hubert

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