Our support for those affected by global crises
Sadly, members of our international community are sometimes impacted by conflict and humanitarian disasters. Find out how we support our staff and students, as well as how members of our community can help.
Our university was founded with a strong sense of social purpose: to deliver teaching and research to ‘ameliorate human life and conditions’ – to make things better. We’re proud of the way our community has rallied together in the face of challenges.
Recent global events have prompted us to think about how we can offer more direct support to people whose lives have been disrupted by war, conflict or other humanitarian crises. We have explained here the support we can offer to students and staff affected by these situations.
Donate to our Equal Access Fund
We are a University of Sanctuary for asylum seekers and refugees, and York is a City of Sanctuary. Both the University and city agencies are ready to support those whose lives have been disrupted.
We recognise that crisis and conflict can affect students in many different ways, and that a range of support is needed. Firstly it’s important that staff know if you are affected, so that they can offer you support and make reasonable adjustments if needed. Please speak to your supervisor and college team.
Our Student Support and Advice Team can also provide help and support including:
- Support for your mental health, anxiety and wellbeing
- Financial guidance and support
- Advice on what to do if you are struggling academically
- Help connecting with other students for support and friendship
You can find information and contacts on our Student Support pages.
In addition, we offer
- Support for student refugees
- Financial advice and help including our Refugee bursary, Equal access scholarships and other assistance funding
- YUSU and GSA also offer advice and wellbeing support
If your studies are affected, please look at our information about academic progress issues, and make sure you talk to your academic supervisor or course leader.
Staff supporting students
If you have a student impacted by conflict or crisis, please make yourself aware of the help available to them whether it relates to academic progress issues, or to a need for emotional or financial support. The most important thing that you can do is identify students who may be affected and to approach them proactively to check whether they need support.
Firstly, it's important that your line manager knows if you are affected by a crisis situation, so that they can offer you support and make reasonable adjustments if needed: please speak to them in the first instance.
- Our HR advice and guidance webpages include information which you might find helpful including if you need to take Leave for Special Circumstances or refer to a University policy or guidance
- We provide access to 24 hour counselling services, practical and emotional support, and advice on a range of areas (including finance, family care and legal issues) through our employee assistance programme, Health Assured
- We support the work of the Council for At-Risk Academics who have announced fellowships for Researchers at Risk. Through our Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR) we host human rights defenders on Protective fellowships to support their work
- Cost of living support and advice for staff
Managers supporting staff
If you have a role that involves managing or supporting staff, check in with any staff members who may be affected by a crisis and ensure that they know what support is available to them.
How everyone can help
As a supportive community, we know that many of our staff and students want to support those affected by conflict or humanitarian crises. There are a number of ways that you can help:
- Be aware of what's happening globally and how that might affect your friends, students or colleagues
- Be proactive - if you think someone may be affected, get in touch with them, ask how you can help or make sure they're aware of the support detailed above
- Donate to our Equal Access Fund so that we can support more students
- Register with the City of Sanctuary Homestay and Befriending programmes
- Donate to Refugee Action York
- Donate to other global charities, for example the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) or the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
We are opposed to all forms of oppression, injustice and inequality however and wherever they occur.
Teaching and research related to addressing these issues takes place in several areas of the University including:
- Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR) who host the Human Rights Defenders Hub
- School for Business and Society, whose research areas include Comparative and Global Social Policy
- Department of Politics who offer MAs in Peace and Conflict Studies, and in Conflict, Governance and Development
Across the University, research colleagues are encouraged to work across departments and disciplines to meet the challenges of our time.
Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August of 2021, six Afghan students have been able to join us with urgent scholarship funding and a fee waiver in addition to individual welcome packages and accommodation support. One such student, Nazia, studying LLM International Human Rights Law, tells her story on our Equal Access Fund page.
In response to the invasion of Ukraine, we offered welfare support to both Ukrainian and Russian students and staff impacted by the developments, as well as providing financial support where necessary. We have partnered with Karazin University in Kharkiv, which has involved building links, arranging summer schools and short courses, and providing access to online resources. Through the Equal Access Scholarships fund, we have given emergency assistance to nine prospective students affected by the Russia-Ukraine crisis.