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UM expands supports for students impacted by conflict in Ukraine

Working group established to identify issues and explore next steps

March 15, 2022 — 

As the horrific invasion of Ukraine continues, UM is working quickly to assist UM students who are affected by the war, specifically from Ukraine, Russia and Eastern Europe, many who can no longer access funds for tuition or other expenses.

In addition to the supports outlined in President Benarroch’s message on Feb. 28, the university has provided extensions and deferrals to winter term fee payment deadlines for Ukrainian and Russian students. Additionally, Student Residences is offering special consideration to students from these countries who request to move out later than in their contract. The Vice-Provost (Students) is in regular contact with the Ukrainian Students’ Association to lend support and help the group respond to student inquiries they receive.

Students affected by the war are encouraged to apply for UM Emergency Bursaries by reaching out to Financial Aid and Awards. We are also asking our UM community – our alumni and friends – to support this fund if they are able.

The mental health of students who have been directly impacted by the war in Ukraine is also a priority. Affected students who contact Student Counselling Services, will have direct access to counselling without having to be triaged. The Spiritual Care team in partnership with the Ukrainian Orthodox chaplain and Student Counselling Centre is offering an opportunity for affected students to gather virtually for support, sharing and community on March 23rd . Faculty members in the Centre for Ukrainian Canadian Studies and the department of German and Slavic Studies are also actively exploring avenues to support students. Stay tuned for more details on these initiatives.

Beyond immediate supports for students, UM has reviewed all activities and is no longer associated with any transfer of funds to Russia. UM has divested the part of our pension program (0.03%) that was invested in Russian companies, and we have confirmed that no endowment funds contain any such investments.

UM has also established a working group to identify issues and explore next steps in order to provide appropriate support to students and staff, and ensure due diligence measures are in place for compliance with sanctions and export control laws, among other things.

“I have heard from many within the UM community who are concerned with the situation and want to ensure we have robust supports in place for those affected by the war,” says Michael Benarroch, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manitoba. “UM is committed to supporting students and employees who are impacted they this conflict. Through this working group we will continue to assess all the options available to UM and determine which ones are the most appropriate and helpful as the war continues to evolve.”  

The University of Manitoba continues to stand with the Ukrainian community. As the situation evolves, the university will continue to assess its response and supports to affected members of the UM community.

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