Australian Universities Offer Assistance to Int’l Students Affected by Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Sunset view of illuminated Elder hall of University of Adelaide, Australia

Top universities in Australia are offering counseling and other assistance measures to international students who have been affected by the Russian-Ukraine crisis, the Group of Eight (Go8), representing Australia’s leading universities, has announced.

Go8 Chief Executive Vicki Thomson said that Go8 universities had acted quickly to identify and get in touch with students from Ukraine and Russia as well as relevant student clubs and societies to check on their well-being and offer the necessary support.

Thomson stressed that Go8 universities are aware of the increasing pressure that the crisis will cause on Ukrainian and Russian students in Australia as well as those studying elsewhere, Erudera.com reports.

“Our universities are offering access to peer support advisors, counselling services for domestic students, and establishing ‘chat’ channels for international students currently studying offshore. We will monitor the situation closely and offer additional support as the situation evolves,” she added.

In its statement, Go8 points out that there were 183 enrollments from Ukraine and Russia at Go8 universities in total, 14 from Ukraine and 169 from Russia, studying onshore and offshore, with the majority of these students enrolled as a higher degree by research or postgraduate level.

Thomson said that Go8 universities introduced social and financial support measures to assist international students amid the pandemic and will further be able to provide assistance during this conflict.

Some of the Romanian universities have also offered help to Ukrainian universities to protect their assets and heritage as well as to incoming migrants, while students from Latvia have called on the government to assist their counterparts in Ukraine to arrive in the country and continue education in Latvia.

Similarly, universities in Germany have offered support to Ukrainian universities. The German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) said that they will assist academics and students in Ukraine within the scope of their capabilities.

“It is also foreseeable that these developments will cause serious damage to German-Russian academic relations. We will have to examine the relevant consequences in detail,” HRK noted.

Following the developments in the Russia-Ukraine war, the Indian Embassy in Kyiv had advised all its nationals to leave Ukraine immediately; however, some Indian students remain in Ukraine as flights could not evacuate the latter after the country announced a state of emergency.

In Ukraine, universities told students and employees to stay home until further notice, announcing that education will continue remotely.

Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, leaving hundreds of people dead. The UN has recently reported at least 406 civilian casualties.

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