Our Principal Jan Royall recently returned from a flying visit to the Somerville community in New York, Boston and Washington DC, during which an impromptu reference to a new university scheme in support of Ukraine generated an immediate outpouring of support.

Under the new University of Oxford scheme, the central university will support 20 Master’s Scholarships for Ukrainian students through a fee waiver. In turn, colleges participating in the scheme will be required to cover the cost of accommodation, food and a £7,500 stipend, with a total cost circa £20,000.

News of the scheme was still very much hot off the press when Jan first mentioned it. However, Jan felt that the seriousness of the situation in Ukraine warranted immediate action. She was confident, moreover, given the historic altruism of Somervillians towards those impacted by humanitarian crises, that current Somervillians would want to help.

This intuition was proven right: donations to support a Ukrainian Master’s student at Somerville were quickly forthcoming through the amazing generosity of our North American friends. We are now in a position to cover a significant portion of the cost of welcoming a Ukrainian student to Somerville in October 2022, with the remainder covered by funds previously donated to support Sanctuary at Somerville.

Given that the University is currently drawing up plans for the much more difficult endeavour of welcoming 20 undergraduate Ukrainian students, we can be confident that Somerville will also be at the forefront of supporting those plans when the time comes.

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