Prompted by the acute need for support for students and university staff fleeing Ukraine, and similar situations around the world, the University 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. Part of the initial funding has been provided from money deducted from the salaries of staff reporting that they took strike action, as a way of using this for a specific, socially responsible purpose.
The first element is the establishment of 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 to ensure equity and proper use of University funding and will be confirmed as soon as possible. In addition, we have a range of support systems for existing students who may be affected.
The student scholarship fund builds on our existing programmes to support students, whether through our 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.
We are also considering how we 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. The funding will be drawn from the student support element of a merged endowment fund, together with a proportion of the funds generated from pay savings due to strike action, as agreed with the Students’ Union.
Scholarships would be available to students globally fleeing conflict zones, most likely 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 follow.
Further details on eligibility criteria and design are being finalised and we will be promoting the scholarship fund as soon as possible. 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 through central funding. This allows us to prioritise individual applications in a fair and equitable way. The terms of a CARA fellowship allow staff to undertake research and contribute to university teaching.
Funding for the first year of the programme would come from the Strategic Investment Reserve Fund, with subsequent years underwritten at Faculty level, based on how the fellowships are distributed.
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 our 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.