Minister Says Universities in Ireland Will Offer Places to Irish Students Who Had to Leave Ukraine

University Students Working In Classroom

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation, and Science in Ireland, Simon Harris said that country’s universities are willing to help students who have had to leave Ukraine in the middle of their studies by offering them admission.

On March 14, the minister met with the Irish Universities Association (IUA) to discuss the response of the higher education to the developments in Ukraine, Erudera.com reports.

“Today, I was pleased to meet with the IUA to discuss a range of issues including the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ukraine,” Harris said.

The Irish Universities Association established a working group with the deans of medicine, the Medical Council, the department, and admissions officers to ensure that Irish students who fled from Ukraine “can continue their education and integrate the relevant program at the right level.”

“When it comes to higher education, the immediate priority is to ensure Irish students fleeing Ukraine can continue their studies here. My department has contacted them all and they are deeply traumatised by what has unfolded. We will work to extend supports and care to them,” the minister said.

The majority of Irish students in Ukraine were studying medicine or dentistry there.

In addition to students, Harris said that the government will ensure that Ukrainian people can continue higher education in Ireland too. He stressed that he will cooperate with colleagues across the sector to respond effectively to the “worst humanitarian crisis of our lifetime.”

Minister and IUA agreed that a central contact was needed for people returning from Ukraine who wish to continue higher education in Ireland, which will be put in place in the upcoming days.

Harris also said that the government will have to provide employment opportunities for people and offer them the chance to engage in further education.

Similarly, the University of Eastern Finland announced it will admit 20 Ukrainian students under a separate right to study and offer them to apply for a grant.

Eligible to apply are students with an existing, valid right to study at a Ukrainian university who have Ukrainian citizenship, whose studies have been interrupted due to the current situation in their country.

“We are allocating a total of 100,000 euros to a grant scheme aimed at Ukrainian students, making it possible to continue academic studies in Finland,” University’s Rector Tapio Määttä said.

Before the Russian invasion, Ukraine was itself a popular country for international students. Erudera’s data show that 80,470 international students studied in Ukraine during 2019, with the majority (18,429) coming from India.

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