An online course on Ukrainian culture and language is to be launched to help British families hosting refugees.
The Open University (OU) will launch the course later this summer, and it says it was developed by leading scholars.
The move is part of a series of measures supported by the OU, including free online resources for Ukrainians such as English lessons and mental health support through the OpenLearn platform.
The university has waived fees for current Ukrainian students and prospective Ukrainian students can apply for 12 scholarships worth £240,000.
We will continue to mobilize our resources across the university to show our support for Ukrainians
Tim Blackman, Vice Chancellor of the Open University
Vice-Chancellor Tim Blackman said the university was “appalled” by the situation in Ukraine and wanted to support people “in the best way possible, by offering free online learning, scholarships and financial aid to Ukrainians as they seek refuge in the UK, as well as educational resources for UK host families”.
He added, “We believe that accessible education is a powerful tool to improve people’s lives and we will continue to mobilize our resources across the university to show our support for Ukrainians.”
Minister for Higher and Further Education, Michelle Donelan, said: “Our world-class universities have always been underpinned by the core values of liberty and liberty, and so it is great to see how many of them have united with Ukraine by opening their doors to students displaced by this terrible war.
“These Open University initiatives are a fantastic way to support those fleeing armed conflict or persecution in their home countries who need help rebuilding their lives.
“Separately, this government has provided up to £4m to institutions to support students from Ukraine who may face difficulty.
“We are currently working with UK universities to explore what support can be given to Ukrainian universities to help them continue to teach their students remotely, alongside what we can do to ensure Ukrainian students can access funding to support their studies – with more information on this in due course.
Great to see this @Open University launched a new scholarship program for people displaced by conflict or crisis. Sanctuary scholars will be able to study degree programs or our access courses, including those leading to @OUComputing qualification https://t.co/ZloTRbUc79
— Arosha Bandara 💙 (@arosha) May 11, 2022
Mirjam Hauck, associate director of the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics at OU and head of the Ukrainian culture and language program, said she hopes a community will develop among students throughout the course. lessons so that learners can share their experiences and ideas.
“In addition to learning the language, participants will learn about what Ukraine looked like before the invasion, its geography, health and education systems, history, and ethnic and religious diversity.
“Ukrainian will be taught via English, but some key information, such as the differences between the health and education systems in the UK and Ukraine, will also be available in Ukrainian, so that it can be shared. directly with Ukrainian friends.”
The news follows Oxford University’s announcement in early May of a new fully-funded postgraduate scholarship program for Ukrainian refugees.
The scholarship will commence in the 2022-23 academic year, aimed at supporting highly qualified graduates from Ukraine whose lives have been severely disrupted by the ongoing conflict.
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