Universities

How 4 Universities Are Helping Students in the Humanitarian Effort |

Institutions in the United States offer unique ways to help Ukrainian students.

Tetiana Shyshkina/Unsplash

UN Secretary General António Guterres said Ukrainian citizens are “enduring hell”. Cities like Mariupol have been decimated, bodies have been trapped for days in the rubble, and food and water are in short supply in other areas. While millions have already fled, some have stayed to fight or cannot get out. Russian aggression and indiscriminate bombardment take their toll as Ukrainians endure the horrors of war and try to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.

This includes many students in Ukraine, Europe, and even here in the United States who face the harsh and uncertain realities that cloud their future. Despite the paralysis and helplessness of the situation, several organizations and industries have mobilized to come to their aid. Colleges and universities around the world are among those offering all the help they can get.

In England, the universities of Worcester and Nottingham offer campus buildings to help provide accommodation for those who have left Ukraine. Tel Aviv University in Israel is offering free tuition next semester and housing for Ukrainian refugee students, and half a dozen institutions in Germany are offering everything from tuition and financial aid to jobs and supports mental health to students.

The collective effort is also alive and well in the United States, beyond rallies and the organization of campus webinars to update student communities on the latest news on the conflict. From coast to coast, from the simplest campaigns aimed at providing money directly to students to larger university-wide initiatives, institutions are stepping up their efforts. “The people of Ukraine are suffering tremendously because of the Russian invasion, and we want to provide them with educational lifelines so they know they will have a future when the fighting ends,” President Shai Reshef said. nonprofit People’s University. .

For example, the Pasadena, Calif.-based university is offering 1,000 Ukrainian students scholarships to study online asynchronously during its spring semester, which begins in two weeks. The extension of aid, which is encouraged by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is not new for this unique private institution. It serves more than 10,000 refugees worldwide in some of the most difficult places on earth, such as Afghanistan and Syria. This crisis is perhaps the worst of all that she has faced.

He shared the story of one of his graduate students, Kateryna Glubochenko, who endured the shelling of Mykolaiv while pregnant and caring for another child. “I am paralyzed with fear. As for my studies, I will try to continue them while I still have an internet connection. It’s the only way for me to calm down a little and still believe that I will survive all this. Studying at UoPeople is a kind of hope for me now.

The outpouring of support from American institutions has also crossed borders. At Yeshiva University, 27 undergraduate students traveled to Austria a few weeks ago as part of a mission to help treat the refugees who arrived there, as well as offer support in the distribution of supplies. and donations and to meet child care needs.

One of the most difficult challenges for those who have left Ukraine is finding shelter. The University of Hampton, Va., announced on Tuesday that it is offering to bring 50 to 100 Ukrainian and international students to not only study on campus this summer, but also provide them with room and board. These students can stay at the university after that, but will have to pay the normal fee schedule. Hampton also offered its campus in 2019 to University of the Bahamas students who were displaced by Hurricane Dorian. “Hampton University faculty, staff and students are heartbroken as a war-torn Ukraine faces atrocities such as the bombing of maternity wards, hospitals and hospitals. ‘other civilian areas,’ Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey said. “I think this partnership is something that can benefit a lot of students and families.”

Although Ukrainian student populations in the United States are not as robust as those in other countries, there are campuses, such as Georgia Tech University, that have significant numbers and faculty that need support. because they cannot get money from their financial institutions. Georgia Tech has launched a campaign to seek $3-4 million in sustainable funds to dedicate to housing, graduation, and other resources for its 80 students, as well as efforts to help more other academics.

A few weeks ago, the University of Chicago announced that it was offering full scholarships to war-affected Ukrainian students – both in the United States and abroad – with an expansion of programming in online and in person via its Center in Paris. , as well as scholarship offers for some students whose studies have been impacted in Ukraine.

“The invasion of Ukraine and the devastating humanitarian crisis that is unfolding has many dimensions, including disruption to the lives and careers of scholars and students who have the potential to contribute new knowledge that will benefit humanity,” said UChicago President Paul Alivisatos. “UChicago is ready to expand its admissions efforts and support for displaced students and scholars who are impacted by the war in Ukraine and events in the region.”