Aberdeen University is appealing to alumni across the world to donate to a new fund which will support displaced students who have taken up their offer of free tuition.
The university recently pledged to waive fees and offer free accommodation to students and scholars who have been displaced by the conflict in Ukraine.
Now, an appeal has been launched to raise money for the Student and Scholar Sanctuary Fund.
The fund has been set up to directly help those who have been forced to leave their education and wish to continue their studies in the north-east.
Money raised will go towards providing essential items such as food, clothing and laptops.
Daria Shapovalova, co-director of the university’s energy law centre, moved from Ukraine to Scotland eight years ago.
She previously studied in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, which has been under sustained attacks since late February in what has been described as one of the deadliest battles of the invasion.
‘We want to be as helpful as possible’
Ms Shapovalova stressed the importance of the fund in supporting students from Ukraine if they decide to take up their studies in Aberdeen.
“Students have been forced to live in other countries or are scattered throughout Ukraine,” she said.
Our humanitarian aid has made it to Kharkiv. They do call it ‘English’ in the video but we will grudgingly accept that 😅🇺🇦🏴 it’s all ran by volunteers there, collecting and distributing feee food/essentials for people in the Kharkiv city and region #StandWithUkraine 1/2 pic.twitter.com/Wvk2vSjQas
— Dr Daria Shapovalova 🇺🇦 (@daria_arctic) April 14, 2022
“Many do not have reliable internet connections and cannot complete their studies. Their dreams of a higher education and a bright future have been taken from them, along with everything else they have lost.
“While tuition fees are being waived for Ukrainian students, there are further complications including living expenses, admissions, and English language support.
“We want to be as helpful as possible to any Ukrainian student wanting to commence or continue their studies in Scotland and ask for your support in helping us do that.”
Plea for donations
Head of alumni relations and regular giving at Aberdeen University, Katrina Allan, said the university’s founding principle of being “open to all” resonates through the university’s response to the ongoing conflict.
She appealed to alumni from the university to give what they can to support and comfort those arriving from “distressing times”.
“The new members to our Aberdeen family will be arriving scared and grief-stricken,” she said.
“We are asking for your help to offer them comfort and the assurance that Aberdeen University will remain a safe and supportive refuge during these distressing times.
“Many will arrive without basic necessities, such as toiletries, clothing and bedding, and with little or no money for food. Your donation will help to provide these items, as well as bursaries so that they can purchase their own items to replace belongings that were lost.”
You can donate to the Student and Scholar Sanctuary Fund here.