The war on Ukraine

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How Cambridge is supporting academics and students affected by the war

The humanitarian tragedy unfolding in Ukraine continues to galvanise our community. Led by the Ukraine Taskforce, the Collegiate University has developed a number of programmes to support scholars and students affected by the war.

In October, the University hopes to welcome upwards of 20 students affected by the war on Ukraine. They will be funded by a range of scholarships including The Rowan Williams Cambridge Studentship, which is 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 students’ upfront expenses such as travel, visa costs and the immigration health surcharge. The Cambridge Trust is working with other funders to maximise the number of offers we can make. All recipients of these funds must have a conditional offer from the University to be considered for funding.

The School of Clinical Medicine has made a twinning agreement with Kharkiv National Medical University to accept medical students on six week clinical placements in Cambridge. Students will be placed at either Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust or Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.

Each student will be hosted by a member of the University or one of the hospitals, who have volunteered to provide accommodation during their visit. Ten students will take part initially, with further cohorts expected to follow. The first students are expected to arrive within the next one to two months, subject to the government granting visiting visas.

The Collegiate University has so far submitted two applications to the British Academy and Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara) Researchers at Risk Fellowship Scheme. If successful, the fellowships will bring two scholars and their dependents to Cambridge for up to two years. These applications were generously supported by Darwin College and Trinity College.

The University is also in conversations with Ukrainian institutions to establish non-residential scholarships for up to fifteen Ukrainian scholars who have been displaced by the war and are living in Ukraine or neighbouring countries. The scholarships will provide a stipend, formal links to Cambridge academics and remote access to resources that will enable them to continue academic study.

Some 21 students currently studying in Cambridge have been identified as having been directly affected by the war. They are being supported through the University’s Ukrainian Conflict Student Hardship Fund.

In response to conversations with Ukrainian university representatives, the University Library and Cambridge University Press and Assessment are identifying specific ways in which they can assist in partnership with their national professional bodies. Cambridge University Press and Assessment has made the majority of its academic journal content free to institutions registered in Ukraine.

Additional programmes are in development and the University remains ready to sponsor and host displaced doctoral students and academic staff as soon as the government visa scheme enables the University to act as a visa sponsor. Thank you to those University institutions that have come forward with offers of support.

“I have been heartened by the generosity displayed by colleagues across Cambridge who have raised funds or proposed activities to support those affected by the tragic war on Ukraine," said Professor Kamal Munir, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for University Community and Engagement. 

"I know many within the University have worked tirelessly to put these programmes in place and we will continue to identify opportunities for the Collegiate University to provide further support in the medium to long-term.”

Published 5th May 2022

Expert analysis

The latest Cambridge analysis and expert comment on the war on Ukraine can be found here:

President Zelenskyy met with the heads of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia.

President Zelenskyy met with the heads of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia.

Ukraine Peace Settlement Project

A team of mediation experts based at the University and other major institutions have launched a new resource in support of a peace settlement for Ukraine.

Resources for staff and students

Support for students

It is becoming increasingly clear that the invasion of Ukraine is having a grave impact on students within our community.  For students who are finding this is having an impact on their work, the following avenues of mitigation are available: 

Undergraduates and postgraduate taught students

Information on mitigation measures is available here and here.  

Postgraduate research students

Students should talk through any concerns with their Supervisor. Postgraduate research students whose work or progress is impacted should discuss this with their tutor. If they are close to their submission deadline they can ask for an extension to that deadline.  Students whose research has been impacted can submit an Impact Statement. Your supervisor or tutor can give details.

Please note: intermission may have implications for a student's visa and students should contact the International Student Office for further advice and guidance.  

As usual, students who need support should speak to their College tutor, who can advise them. Information on financial hardship and University wellbeing support is available, including the University Counselling Service. The service is making arrangements to move swiftly to provide initial appointments for students in this position.

Support for staff

The University’s staff counselling service will be arranging sessions for those in need of help. Please look out for information on its website.


All members of the University should follow the UK government’s Foreign Office advice. Current advice is against all travel to Ukraine and to Russia. The insurance section has updated its information on travel in the affected areas

How you can help

The University has launched a Ukrainian conflict student hardship fund, to help students in need due to the conflict.

Many Colleges are planning to launch their own fundraising campaigns or other approaches to humanitarian relief, so please contact your College to find out more.

In addition, the University has identified three initiatives to which people may wish to consider donating:

The Ukrainian Institute London has a list of ways that you can support those affected by Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Image credit: Ukrainian flag by Junior Gonzalez (Getty Images)