Western University unveils $600,000 financial support for students affected by Ukraine crisis – London

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine resulting in the displacement of many people, Western University announced new funding of $600,000 for displaced students around the war-affected world.

This follows calls from the Ukrainian community in London to help relieve international students from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus who have been deprived of financial support in their countries.

“Our goal is to create new pathways to Western for those seeking to pursue education and scholarships from the safety of our university community, and to improve support for current international students from countries in crisis,” said Western Chairman Alan Shepard.

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School officials say the financial support will be made available to current and new international undergraduate and graduate students in need of assistance whose home countries have been devastated by wars and other disasters.

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Earlier this month, the London Ukrainian Humanitarian Action (LUHA) task force, led by community volunteers, launched a fundraising campaign to help Ukrainian students whose families have been displaced or lost their income because of the war.

Marat Slessarev, president of LUHA, told Global News at the time that they were advocating for relief for students at Fanshawe College and Western, with more than 30 students affected.

“Most international students have their tuition, accommodation and meals covered and paid for until the end of April, when their school term ends, but from May onwards, many no longer have the financial means to cover their accommodation, meals and of course school fees,” Slessarev said at the time.

Western is currently supporting a number of international students from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, who are facing disruption and uncertainty due to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

In addition to the $600,000, Western is creating several new six- to 12-month research opportunities for undergraduate or graduate students displaced by global crises.

Working in partnership with the international Scholars At Risk network, Western will also provide support for three new displaced scholars to come to Western, in addition to support for Afghan scholars announced by Western last year.

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The Ivey Business School also plans to welcome 10 students from Ukraine under the new Ivey MBA Ukraine Students Academic Shelter Program, providing displaced graduate students from Ukraine with free tuition, housing, and learning materials, including a monthly stipend, to attend Ivey on exchange.

The program will be open to students enrolled in a master’s level program in business, finance, marketing, technology or economics at Lviv Business School and Kyiv-Mohyla National University Academy.

“It’s great that Ivey was able to pull together the resources and fund this program. This is an example that everyone, like all universities, should follow this example,” said Sergii Nevmerzhygskyi, PhD student at the Ivey School of Business.

Nevmerzhygskyi has been studying in Canada since 2016 and lives here with his family, but said it was difficult with his and his wife’s parents and other family members still living in Ukraine.

Although he doesn’t need financial support, Nevmerzhygskyi said it would be helpful for younger students who depend on support from parents back home.

Nevmerzhygskyi said the war weighed on him mentally as he tried to complete his education.

“Honestly, it sucks a lot of mental and physical energy. I am at a stage in my problem where I have to complete my thesis and submit it, but the news unfortunately affects the process,” he said.

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“Usually I go to bed late because of the missile attacks (from) Russia, usually they do this at night, it gets quieter in the morning. So usually I check on the news if there is any serious damage from these missile attacks at night.

He said their family were refugees in their own country, having moved to different towns and villages to avoid the bombings.

If all 10 spots are filled, the school estimates Ivey’s total investment at over $1 million.

“This new commitment builds on existing programs and supports Western International already in place and provides additional funding to support both our current students and displaced students and scholars,” said Lise Laporte, Senior Director of Western International.

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