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Support for students affected by the war in Ukraine

Queen Mary is committed to doing all we can to support our students and their loved ones who are affected by the war in the Ukraine.

Wellbeing support

If you are affected by the war in the Ukraine, there are a number of ways you can access mental health support:

  • The Advice and Counselling Service is here to support student mental and emotional wellbeing. Students can access confidential one-to-one support online or in person with a Wellbeing Adviser, Mental Health Adviser or Counsellor. To request an appointment, you need to complete the request in MySIS (click on the Student Services/SEC Online tab at the top and select Submit a form for counselling or mental health advice). Read the Counselling blog about looking after your mental health amid distressing world events.
  • Alternative external support is available via helplines, text and webchat services – you can find several options on the Counselling website.
  • The Chaplaincy is open to all students and staff at Queen Mary, of all faiths and none. The Chaplain, Ella Sharples, is available for support or a chat over a cup of tea. You can get in touch with Ella by sending her a message on 07740 547689.

Extenuating circumstances

Some students may find it hard to focus on their studies during this difficult time. Anyone struggling with their work should first speak to their Student Support Officers, who will be able to offer support and advice. Extenuating circumstances claims are there to support any student who experiences sudden, unexpected difficulties that may affect their performance in assessments. If you are thinking about taking time out of your studies, please check the guidance on interrupting.

Financial support and fee status

Please contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service if you need advice on applying for financial support, or planning your budget.

At Queen Mary
The Financial Assistance Fund is available to help any students who are experiencing unexpected financial hardship, including anyone affected by the invasion of Ukraine (including Russian and Belarussian students). The fund can help with living costs but not tuition fees. Applications are made online. If you are made an award this is usually a non-repayable grant. You can find out about how to apply, and what the deadline is, on the Financial Assistance Fund webpage. If you need help completing the application, please contact the Advice and Counselling Service. If you applied during the academic year but your circumstances have changed or you now need to apply for help for a further period (for example the summer holiday) you can email bursaries@qmul.ac.uk and ask them to reopen your application. They will let you know about any new documents they need you to provide.

UK Government hardship funding
The UK Government has set aside £4 million to support the living costs of Ukrainian students who are facing financial difficulties. Queen Mary received the first instalment of this fund in May from the Office for Students (OFS) which is proportional to the number of Ukrainian students or those who were domiciled there before joining Queen Mary.  Students should apply for this support through the Financial Assistance Fund.

UK Government Student Finance 
The UK government have extended access to Student Finance (maintenance and tuition fee support) from 1 August 2022 for those who are granted permission to stay in the UK under one of the three schemes for Ukrainians. This is for students who are already on a Higher Education course, and for students who will be new in 2022/23.

The requirements are:

  1. To have been granted permission to enter or remain in the UK under one of the three schemes for Ukrainians by 1 September 2022*; and
  2. To have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands since being granted that permission; and
    New students only
  3. To be/have been ordinarily resident in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of the course (this means 1 September 2022 if you started a course in September 2022, rather than the actual first day of the course). 

*If you are granted permission to enter or remain in the UK under one of the three schemes for Ukrainians after 1 September 2022 please contact ACS  to make an appointment with a Welfare Adviser to discuss your Student Finance eligibility.

You can read about Student Finance England funding on the Advice and Counselling Service website:

Student Finance England have updated their application forms to include a category of eligibility, which you need to tick if you are in the UK under one of the three schemes for Ukrainians.

Tuition Fee status

The eligibility rules for Home fee status have also been changed for the 2022/23 academic year to include those who are granted permission to stay in the UK under one of the three schemes for Ukrainians. This is for students who are already on a Higher Education course, and for students who will be new in 2022/23.

By 1 September 2022* students need to have been:

  • granted permission to enter or remain in the UK under one of the three schemes for Ukrainians; and
  • ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands since being granted that permission; and
  • ordinarily resident in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of the course (this means 1 September 2022 if you start a course in September 2022, rather than the actual first day of the course). 

However, England’s Department for Education has issued a Student Support Information Note instructing institutions to ignore the requirement for students to have been "ordinarily resident in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of the course", in some circumstances, when deciding whether or not a ‘person granted leave under the Ukraine Schemes’ qualifies to pay fees at the ‘home’ rate for higher education in England.

*Some students may now become eligible for home fee status if they are granted immigration permission under one of the Ukraine Schemes after 1/9/22.

Please see the UKCISA website for details of the full eligibility criteria for home fee status for Persons granted leave under the Ukraine Schemes (Category 11) noting the ‘special arrangements’ section at the end. UKCISA have also clarified the date your leave (immigration permission) starts.

If you are currently assessed as an overseas fee payer and you think you meet the eligibility requirements for home fee status please do the following:

  • Complete a fee status questionnaire so that you can provide all of the information needed to reassess your fee status. This is explained on the Admissions webpage.
  • Provide the following supporting documents with your fee status questionnaire:
    1. Evidence of your leave to remain/enter under one of the three schemes for Ukrainians.
    This would usually be the grant of permission letter from the Home office and a copy of your biometric residence permit card, and
    2. Evidence that you have been ordinarily resident in the UK since you were granted such leave.
    Generally we will accept evidence such as rental/tenancy agreements, utility bills connected to your address in the UK, bank statements, etc.
  • Email your completed fee status questionnaire and supporting documents to adm-mgrs@qmul.ac.uk.

If you are unsure about your eligibility for home fee status please contact ACS  to make an appointment with a Welfare Adviser to discuss your situation or contact the UKCISA Student Advice Line

Working

If you are thinking of working, read our guide about working during studies including information on looking for work, and the rules on working for international students.

    Immigration

    You may watch our webinar which explains the information below and answers some questions from Ukrainian students and applicants. The webinar was recorded on 12 August 2022, and the information is based on the rules, regulations and concessions in place at that time, which are subject to change. 

    The Ukraine Extension Scheme
    The Ukraine extension scheme opened on 3 May, to allow Ukrainians already in the UK to apply for free to stay in the UK for up to 3 years. The UK government website has information about the requirements, conditions and how to apply. Note that to be eligible you must have had permission to be in the UK on 18 March 2022.
    If you are in the UK with Student or Tier 4 immigration permission and are considering applying to switch to the Ukraine Extension Scheme, there are some factors you may want to think about:

    • Money: those with permission under the Ukraine Extension Scheme can apply for government Student Finance and Home fee status. Please see the Financial Support section above for more information. People would also be given permission to work without restrictions, whereas there are working restrictions for those with Student permission. People would also be able to apply for welfare benefits, if they meet the eligibility criteria. Most full-time students are not eligible for benefits but this could be useful after completing the course
    • Length of stay in the UK: The Ukraine Extension Scheme grants three years of permission to stay in the UK. The government has not yet stated what will happen after three years, for example will there be an opportunity to extend permission further. Whereas those with Student permission can stay in the UK until the end date of their permission and may be eligible to apply to stay in the UK under the Graduate Route after course completion, for either two or three more years
    • Study conditions - permission on the Ukraine Extension Scheme would allow study on a full or part-time course, whereas Student permission normally requires study on a full-time course
    • Application fee: There is no application fee for the Ukraine Extension Scheme, nor an immigration health surcharge or biometric enrolment fee. Student immigration applications are costly. 

    Immigration advice
    Welfare Advisers in the Advice and Counselling Service can advise on Student, Student Dependent and Graduate Route immigration permission. If you have a question about, or issue relating to, one of these visa routes, please contact them. We are not authorised to provide asylum advice or advice about other immigration routes.

    If you require immigration advice for non-Student related categories, such as one of the Ukraine immigration schemes, there is information on the gov.uk website. You can also contact the Ukraine Advice Project to be connected with free legal advice on UK immigration, visas and asylum from qualified and regulated lawyers.

    If you are a nationality other than Ukrainian seeking immigration advice about non-Student related categories, you can get legal advice by contacting an immigration adviser. Make sure that the immigration adviser you choose is authorised to provide immigration advice and services by the Office for the Immigration Services Commissioner or other regulatory body.

    You can find other regulated advisers through:

    Information from Queen Mary Students’ Union

    The Students’ Union have published a webpage with their response to the war in Ukraine, including a statement from the Executive Officers, details of support available both internally and from external organisations, and how to get involved in fundraising. Visit the Students’ Union website to find out more.

    Respect for others

    Our community is diverse and we ask everyone to continue to respect and support each other. If you experience bullying or harassment, please report this via Queen Mary’s Report + Support hub. Support is available.

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