The University of Manitoba has earmarked $1 million for an emergency bursary fund to provide financial assistance to students struggling due to the war in Ukraine.
The fund will also be available to students impacted by “international conflicts, environmental catastrophes and extraordinary life events.”
The university has established a webpage featuring links to additional resources for those affected by the war in Ukraine, such as local Ukrainian organizations, federal support and pro bono legal services. There is also a link to donate to the emergency bursaries fund and promotion for fundraisers to support Ukraine.
The bursary will prioritize students needing immediate relief.
University president Michael Benarroch noted that Manitoba is “home to one of the largest populations of Ukraine diaspora in Canada.”
“We do as a university take our obligations to address the crisis very seriously and we’ve come to recognize that war [and] geopolitical events can have a real impact on our international students from across the globe,” he said.
“We need to respond appropriately to assist those students and what we’ve been finding is that these types of crises are creating extreme financial need and stress on our students and we want to be able to respond appropriately to those things.”
Benarroch pointed out the war in Ukraine may be preventing some students from accessing resources they do have.
“Their bank accounts might be frozen and funds can’t be transferred to them to not only pay their tuition but also to live, eat [and] pay their rent here and as a result of that, we have to step in at this time and provide students with […] support,” he said.
According to Benarroch, previous bursary funds had “limited capabilities” to respond to the needs of students in this crisis.
“What we’re trying to do here is encompass a variety of possible situations in which [students] might face financial distress,” he said.
Benarroch said it was important the university “is in a place where [it] can respond quickly” to these types of crises.
“The unlawful war on Ukraine, in fact, has created hardships for our students and […] it is incumbent on us to respond in support of students and that’s what we’re trying to do here through this bursary fund.”
Students facing academic difficulties due to being directly impacted by the war in Ukraine may be eligible for academic accommodations. Additional resources can be found on the University of Manitoba website.