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Students: Russia and Ukraine

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL6615, tabled on 3 March 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) Ukrainian, and (2) Russian, students in the UK can continue their studies in (a) schools, and (b) places of higher education; and what steps they will take to help those who want to complete their courses to do so.

Answered on

17 March 2022

Alongside our allies, we are united in support for Ukraine. The Department for Education has been working closely with the education sector and across government more widely to ensure that Ukrainian and Russian students are supported during this difficult time.

This includes a new visa option for Ukrainian nationals, including students, that will provide them with an opportunity to extend their leave or switch to a graduate visa without having to leave the UK.

We continue to welcome Ukrainian and Russian pupils and students to UK universities and schools, where we are proud of the long history we have defending values such as freedom of speech and freedom of publication. However, anyone subject to sanctions will have actions taken against them, including if they are in education.

We recognise the current uncertainty will mean that many students may experience additional mental health challenges. Protecting student and staff wellbeing is vital and it is important students continue to be able to access the mental health and wellbeing support they need.

All schools, including independent schools, have a legal duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children as part of the statutory safeguarding guidance, keeping children safe in education. The guidance sets out how schools should protect children from harm and what to do if they have concerns about a child. It includes guidance on bullying, child on child abuse and mental health. It sets out where schools should go to access specialist support for children.

We encourage students to stay in touch with their higher education provider’s welfare teams as these services are likely to continue to be an important source of support. Providers are not only experts in their student population but also best placed to identify the needs of their students.