National Codes: Students from Ukraine and Russia This page was last updated on 9th May 2022 Ukrainian Refugees to Get Home Fee Status at English Universities Universities Minister Michelle Donelan has written to higher education institutions in England to announce that the government is extending access to “HE student support, home fee status, [and] tuition fee caps” to Ukrainian refugees who had been given leave to stay in the UK. This means Ukrainian undergraudates studying at English Universities will not be charged more than £9250 a year, and will be eligible to apply for maintenance loans. This move follows similar support announced in Scotland, where Ukrainian refugees will be able to study free of charge and a letter sent from Unipol Student Homes and the British Property Federation to the Universities Minister offering help and support with accommodation for Ukrainian HE students. The full letter can be accessed here. Speaking on the support measures, the Minster notes: “Access to student support is crucial in enabling [refugees] to attend education to improve their skills and enhance the ability of Ukrainians to contribute to the UK, or to the rebuilding of their home country” The Government has also announced a £4 million support fund from the Office for Students for the 2022-23 academic year to financially support Ukrainian students. More information can be found here: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/ukrainian-refugees-get-home-fee-status-english-universities As part of the National Code, Unipol is considering guidance that might be issued to private PBSA suppliers following recent events. Many of these students have seen their funding arrangements collapse and in some cases bank accounts and services have either been suspended or no longer work. Many are understandably experiencing fear and anxiety about the situation. Initial calculations were that up to 1,200 students might be affected out of the 400,000 within the private sector National Code. Information provided by 8 of the 10 largest providers have 490 students affected which covers around 40% of those 400,000 bed spaces, so the initial estimate of 1,200 may be slightly high. Suppliers fall into two categories: those who own the properties themselves and therefore can determine a course of action themselves or those managing properties on behalf of others where consultation with those others is required before direct assistance can be given. The survey of larger suppliers has revealed a number of approaches: generally students want to have their situation acknowledged and recognised and often want some space to talk through their circumstances providers are supporting residents with being able to purchase food, toiletries and sanitary products by providing a weekly supermarket vouchers or payments for food where necessary managers are talking to building owners about the approach they want to take regarding future rent payments if the situation continues providing support and trying to reach out to students’ universities to see if they are offering any additional support. Some have also put in place a helpful support approach: situations will be reviewed on a case by case basis but the aim is an outcome that is fair and sensitive to the hardships created by the situation in Ukraine if a student from the region (i.e. Russian/Ukrainian) wishes to cancel their contract and return home, this can be approved without any financial penalty for the student if a student from the region is unable to return home as a result of the conflict and wishes to extend their stay over the summer months this can be actioned free of charge. if a student from the region is facing financial hardship support will be offered or the student will be signposted for help to their University. University Help and Support It is important to work closely with students’ educational institutions in supporting students. Many/most universities will be contacting students affected (and specifically those from Ukraine/Russia) to provide flexibility in relation to their academic studies and information about support services (counselling, wellbeing, chaplaincy etc.) so that they can access more specialist assistance where needed. Many educational providers have hardship funds that students can apply to for assistance should individuals’ finances be affected in academic year 2021-2022. Allocation of hardship funds is at the HE provider’s discretion. Many universities will be making provision to support students from Russia/Ukraine and anyone affected. Most will have financial assistance schemes (or hardship funding) and will be looking at how to support students with their fees. Signposting Many, aside from directly contacting students affected are also signposting students to other sources of help, including: Mental Health Support Student Minds who have shared a variety of resources to support students affected https://www.studentminds.org.uk/ Shout 85258 is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope https://giveusashout.org/ Visas and Immigration UKCISA https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/ Government Government advice on visa support for Ukrainian Nationals is at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/support-for-family-members-of-british-nationals-in-ukraine-and-ukrainian-nationals-in-ukraine-and-the-uk#:~:text=The%20government%20has%20announced%20plans,flee%20Ukraine%20to%20the%20UK The Minister of State for Higher Education recently wrote to educational institutions outlining Government help for Ukrainian students. The text of the letter can be found here. Initiatives to Help Ukrainian Students There are a number of educational initiatives beginning to emerge aiming at allowing students and academics to continue their work in the UK or making scholarships or grants available to displaced academic staff and students to undertake studies here. The University of Lincoln is a good example of future planning with a small scholarship scheme being launched for 2022-2023. Further information can be found at: https://news.lincoln.ac.uk/2022/03/17/university-to-provide-study-work-and-accommodation-to-ukrainian-students-and-academics/ There are a number of emergent initiatives at several other institutions, such as the University of Edinburgh, UCL and the University of York. Universities UK Statement on Ukraine This was last updated on 28th March 2022 and provides a useful update on academic developments and a particularly useful Further Information section that can be found at https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/latest/news/our-latest-statement-ukraine Conclusion This will be a changing situation and this information will be updated from time to time.