Ukraine Education Response
We stand with the children and young people of Ukraine whose lives have been turned upside down overnight.
We call on governments and the international community to ensure that children and young people’s education is protected and respected during this crisis.
REUK Statement following the invasion of Ukraine
We are devastated by the invasion of Ukraine.
In every conflict, children and young people are among the worst affected. Schools close or are no longer places of safety, and children's right to learn and play without fear is taken away.
We urge the UK government to urgently establish accessible, safe and legal routes to the UK for Ukrainians forced to flee their homes.
Without this, the Nationality and Borders Bill – which is inching closer to becoming law as this crisis unfurls – will criminalise Ukrainians, including children and young people, who arrive in the UK having had no option but to flee under their own steam. As war arrives at their door, they cannot sit and wait.
We call on the UK government to establish a comprehensive support and integration package to welcome Ukrainian refugees to the UK. This must include education and wellbeing support through partnerships with local government, charities and education institutions.
REUK is ready to support the education of Ukrainian refugee children and young people who are forced to flee, helping them to rekindle hope for the future amidst the uncertainty and devastation of war in their home country.
University support for students previously studying in Ukraine
REUK conducted a survey in April 2022 which sought to collate expressions of support and opportunities for students from Ukraine from universities in the UK. Thirty five universities responded to the survey, as well as one academic bridging project (OLive), one alternative online HE provider (New School of the Anthropocene), and an international HE pathway education provider (Into University).
The survey was undertaken prior to the UK government’s announcement that individuals in the UK via the Ukraine visa schemes would be eligible for student finance and be treated as home students for fees purposes in England. For that reason, many respondents emphasised the speculative and contingent nature of the offerings.
The Homes for Ukraine Scheme enables organisations - including universities - to sponsor a Ukrainian refugee coming to the UK through the provision of accommodation.
REUK is supporting universities who wish to explore this possibility, and to provide support for Ukrainian students who need to continue their education at universities in the UK.
Resources for recently arrived refugees (including Ukraine specific examples)
For advice about education in the UK
Read our Education Welcome Pack (available here in English, Pashto and Dari) for an introduction to schools and education in the UK. We are currently in the process of translating this document into Ukrainian. We are also extending the capacity of our education advice service which will be able to assist Ukrainians with specific queries
Visit our FAQs page about Further Education (post-16).
Visit our FAQs page about Higher Education (university).
Contact email@example.com if you have more specific questions about education (such as eligibility for funding, course options and fee status).
How UK universities can help students, academics and institutions affected by the conflict
Other resources for newly-arrived refugees and asylum seekers
Visit our Education Welcome page for a range of English and Wellbeing resources. We are in the process of recruiting staff for a new Education Welcome Project which will provide additional information, including in Ukrainian.
Education without Backpacks has free educational resources for children in Ukrainian, English and Russian on their website.
The Ukrainian Institute London has some useful links on their website, also, and says that they will be updating their page with information on how to get children enrolled into schools in the UK.
Student Action for Refugees (STAR) has a resource/info page for students from Ukraine who may be affected by the crisis in Ukraine.
If you’d like to volunteer as an educational mentor for a young refugee or asylum seeker, find out more here.
If you’ve got questions about mentoring (for example setting up mentoring projects in your area or getting further training and support), please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other ways of welcoming newly arrived refugees
Sign up to one of our training sessions.
See the resources about hosting and supporting Ukrainian refugees on the City of Sanctuary website.
Watch this recent event ‘How to Welcome Ukrainian Refugees’ (our CEO, Catherine, speaks about education at 54:50).
How to support refugee education and/or offer your time and skills
REUK is in the process of ramping up our education welcome project. We'll be posting more information on this page soon. In the meantime, please see below for some useful resources for recently arrived refugees, including Ukrainians, and those supporting them. If you would think there is a resource which should be added here, please get in touch.
REUK and Youth Advisory Board Statement - Ukraine and refugees in the UK
9th May 2022
At the most recent quarterly Youth Advisory Board meeting, one of our board members voiced their frustration and upset at the emerging difference in response in Britain towards refugees from Europe and those from elsewhere.
REUK stands with Ukrainian refugees. We also stand with refugees and asylum seekers from any and every country because we believe that anyone fleeing persecution or conflict is worthy of safety, protection and a chance to rebuild their lives - and that no refugee or asylum seeker should be treated differently because of their background or colour of their skin.
We have been warmed by the keenness to respond to the specific crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine, and are working with newly-arrived refugees and asylum seekers from both these countries, as well as from elsewhere. This is why our new Education Welcome Project will address the educational and wellbeing needs of any newly arrived refugee or asylum seeker, whatever their background.
We are very concerned about the number of Afghan refugees still in hotels across the country, and continue to object to the unfair treatment of refugees and asylum seekers from all over the world who are severely restricted in their access to education and other important services. We will keep responding with kindness and urgency to emerging refugee situations, wherever they are in the world.
We will continue to listen and learn from our Youth Advisory Board, and other young people supported by REUK, on the racism they experience, which includes any policies or responses which affect them. We also apply the same scrutiny to our own work as an organisation, and will be sharing an update on the anti-racism work we’ve been doing at REUK and how it fits into our EDI policies more broadly. We will always support young refugees and asylum seekers to overcome the challenges they face here, however they manifest.