£5m fund announced to provide scholarships for students and support university staff from conflict zones

Prompted by the acute need for support for students and university staff fleeing Ukraine, and similar situations around the world, The University of Manchester is creating an emergency fund of more than £5 million. This will help to provide support initially for students and academics displaced as a result of the war in Ukraine, but is also open to those from other countries affected by armed conflict.

Funding has been put in place for an initial three-year period with a view to longer term sustainability via external funding streams.

Student Scholarships

The first element is a scholarship fund to support new students fleeing conflict, including those in Ukraine currently, who are so significantly affected by the war. The detail of the scheme needs to be worked through and will be confirmed as soon as possible.  In addition, the University has a range of support systems for existing students who may be affected.

The student scholarship fund builds on the University’s existing programmes to support students, whether through its augmented Living Cost Support Fund for existing students or specific schemes to assist asylum seeker students.

Once established, the new scholarship fund will provide annual support for:  

- 10 undergraduate scholarships including £11,000 stipend each year for three years, access to NHS surcharge and visa costs, with fees waived.

- 10 postgraduate taught scholarships including £15,000 stipend for one year, access to NHS surcharge and visa costs, with fees waived.

The University is also considering how it might provide support for postgraduate researchers and will update on that in due course.

We are initially investing a total of almost £5 million of direct costs and waiving of fees.

Scholarships would be available to students globally fleeing conflict zones, provisionally using the Uppsala University Conflict Data Programme database on armed conflict to set the parameters of the scheme. It is being developed with advice from the University’s Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) over the coming weeks and more details will be announced.

Further details on eligibility criteria and design are being finalised. Funding for scholarship support will begin in September 2022, with some flexibility on allocation in the first year to allow rapid deployment of funds.

Support for staff through CARA fellowships

The University is also committed to supporting the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA) to provide five, two-year fellowships to support staff fleeing conflict zones The terms of a CARA fellowship allow staff to undertake research and contribute to university teaching.

A programme for professional services staff is also being considered separately.

President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, said: “Our University is here to create a safe and inclusive environment for students and staff from the UK and around the world to study, teach, research and above all, thrive.

“We are providing direct support to new students and staff fleeing conflict, including those in Ukraine or currently displaced as a result of the Russian government’s invasion. We look forward to providing a whole-hearted Manchester welcome in the weeks and months to come.”

All details on the University’s Ukraine response can be found here, with regular updates on our position, what we are doing, how you can help, relevant news, and connections with our experts on the invasion of Ukraine.

If you’d like to support students affected by the conflict, you can make a gift to our Living Cost Support Fund here. The Living Cost Support Fund exists thanks to generous alumni and donors, and forms part of the package of support available to students who have been directly impacted by the war in Ukraine. The Fund is available to any Manchester student facing unforeseen hardship during their studies.

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