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.
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.
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.
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.
UK government funding
The UK government have extended access to Student Finance, Home fee status, and tuition fee caps 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. Students need to have been granted permission to enter or remain in the UK under one of the three schemes for Ukrainians; to have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands since being granted that permission; and for new students in 2022/23, you need to be ordinarily resident in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of the course.
You can read about Student Finance funding on the Advice and Counselling Service website:
The website is being updated with information about funding in the 2022/23 academic year but it is broadly the same as in the current academic year, but the amounts of loans (and grants where eligible) for living costs will increase slightly. The 2022/23 information should be available on the website by mid June.
Student Finance are updating the 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. If you apply for Student Finance before the tick box is in place, you are advised to tick the box for someone who is a refugee in the UK, and explain your circumstances in the notes at the end of the application form.
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.
Please contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service if you need advice on applying for financial support, or planning your budget.
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.
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.