UK politicians request visa scheme for Ukrainian students and academics

A cross-party group of MPs and colleagues has joined forces with UK universities, calling for an extension of the visa scheme for Ukrainian refugees to temporary placements for students and academics.

In a letter to Home Secretary Preeti Patel, Member of Parliament and Advocacy for Universities UK, the university said the project would provide visas and temporary accommodation for displaced students and academics to study and research.

Led by Rumford Conservative MP Andrew Rosindel, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, the group includes Lib Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davio; David Blankett, Labor Peer and former Secretary of Education; And Tom Tugendhat, Tory Backbencher who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee.

The government has so far introduced two systems to allow Ukrainians to come to the UK after being displaced by Russia’s invasion of their country – a scheme for family members of people already in the country, and one through which individuals or organizations can sponsor people to come.

The latest figures from the Home Office show that 24,400 visas have been issued out of 32,800 applications through family schemes. Through the sponsorship route, 150,000 people have expressed interest in sponsoring, 32,200 have formally applied to do so and 4,700 have been issued visas.

The letter argues that the amount of interest shown in the sponsorship system indicates that many Britons are willing to help, and that student and academic visas will help more people find refuge until they are ready to return home.

In addition to providing “sanctuaries” for students and academics, the proposal states that allowing young Ukrainians to continue studying subjects such as medicine and engineering will help them qualify, which will be important in Ukraine once the war is over.

“It is vital that Ukraine is not a country where President Putin’s narrative is strongly and unequivocally refuted and the courage and collective struggle of the Ukrainian people is duly documented,” Rozindel said.

“It simply came to our notice then. Individual universities and institutions are already offering positions for Ukrainian academics, but today we are calling for it to be extended to state programs and for students, with the financial support needed for universities to implement it. “

“It would be a tragedy if the young people of the future refuse to continue their education and research opportunities because of President Putin’s move to rebuild the country and provide a powerhouse of innovation and creativity,” Blankett said.

He added: “Giving the UK higher education system the opportunity to resume learning with due support is a small but important step towards realizing our commitment to the people of Ukraine.”

An official spokesman said: “Anyone currently studying in the UK is already covered under our Ukraine Extension Scheme, which means they will automatically qualify for a three-year leave to stay here.

“We are moving as fast as we can to ensure that those who have fled Ukraine can get security in the UK through the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine. In the last three weeks alone, about 30,000 visas have been issued and thousands more are expected to come through this uncapped.” Being done. Route. “

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