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Trinity to set up Relief Fund for Ukrainian students and scholars

Trinity will establish a £250,000 relief fund for future Trinity and Cambridge students from Ukraine facing hardship arising from the invasion of their country, and for scholars there seeking refuge at Cambridge and other universities in the UK and EU.

Trinity will work with the University of Cambridge and its associated Trusts via initiatives including the Rowan Williams Cambridge Studentships and the Council for At-Risk Academics. The new fund is in addition to support available for current Trinity students who are in need as a result of the crisis.

Trinity Fellow and Chair of Slavonic Studies at Cambridge, Professor Emma Widdis, said: ‘I am so glad to see Trinity take a lead in Cambridge in addressing the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Ukraine, in particular in safeguarding the possibility of education and research for those affected.’

The Master, Dame Sally Davies, said she was proud the College had responded rapidly to provide concrete support.

We are horrified at what is unfolding in Ukraine as a result of the invasion by Russia. Expressing concern and solidarity is important. So too is offering concrete assistance to those in need. I am proud that Trinity has created a relief fund for students and scholars from Ukraine and we are working with our partners at Cambridge to make best use of this resource.

In a message to the College community last week, Dame Sally said: ‘We endorse wholeheartedly the sentiment expressed by Bao Tao, the Overseas Officer of TCSU, that we should not let this war divide our own, international community. We are united in our condemnation of this aggression and are united in our resolve in supporting all those – students, staff and Fellows – who are affected by these events.’

Trinity students with Ukrainian heritage expressed support for the College’s actions. Maths student Senya Nikolaiev said: ‘I am glad that my College is being supportive in such horrible times for Ukrainian people.’

President of Trinity College Students’ Union, Tayla Hardy, concurred.

I am proud of my College for setting up this new relief fund and glad to see the response within Trinity and across Cambridge to the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine. As TCSU President, my primary concern, as ever, is the welfare of our undergraduate students – it’s important that students affected don’t have to face financial hardship as well at this incredibly difficult time.

As a student society, we are working to provide as much support as we can and are reaching out across the University to see what more can be done. On behalf of the TCSU committee, I send our love and support to all those affected. As always, our inboxes and ears are open to all Trinity students in whatever possible way we can help.

Members of College have donated essential items including non-perishable foods, bedding, toiletries and camping equipment, which will be sent via Cambridge’s Polonia Club. Trinity Chaplain, Reverend John Summers, said:

My fellow Chaplain Anne Strauss and I led a vigil in Chapel to remember those caught up in the war. It was moving to see Ukrainian and Russian students sitting with others from all around in the world in an act of solidarity and friendship. Donations from students, fellows and staff for Ukrainian refugees have been piling up quickly in the Ante-Chapel.

While Trinity’s charitable purposes preclude political or campaigning activity, there is scope to respond to the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine in support of the College’s mission to advance education and research.

The College welcomes proposals and suggestions from students, staff and Fellows; the Vice Master Professor Louise Merrett is chairing a panel to consider ideas, advise Council and coordinate action. Please email suggestions to [email protected]

The College welcomes additional support from alumni for the Trinity Relief Fund for Ukrainian students and scholars.

Meanwhile, the College has committed to divesting from holdings in Russia as soon as possible.

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