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Ukraine

Here you can find all information about how the situation in Ukraine affects education and research at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

The eyes of the world are on the war in Ukraine. The shocking images that constantly come to us through the news channels defy all description and touch everyone deeply. As a university, we are very concerned about the dramatic situation and developments in Ukraine and the consequences this has for the inhabitants, the universities and the academic community in Ukraine.

We are closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine and are looking for possibilities of further help and support for both our Ukrainian and our Russian students and staff. Students from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia who have been directly affected by the situation in Ukraine and meet acute financial difficulties can apply for an emergency fund set up by the VUAssociation. For information and how to apply, please email: emergencyfund.soz@vu.nl.

You can always contact us with questions or concerns. In the Q&A below you can find who you can contact for help. 

Please also read our general statement.

These frequently asked questions are regularly updated in response to new developments.

Last modified on 25 March 2022.

Support for Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian students

  • Financial issues

    Emergency fund for students 
    The Executive Board has decided to start an emergency fund for students from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia who are directly affected by the situation in Ukraine and meet acute financial difficulties. For information and how to apply please mail to: Emergencyfund.soz@vu.nl.

    Are you concerned about your financial situation and you would like to talk about this?
    Our student counsellors are here for you at studentcounsellor@vu.nl to discuss your concerns.

    Can I get financial help if I cannot pay the rent?
    You can contact the student counsellors to discuss your situation. 

    I am in financial difficulties and am unable to pay my tuition fees. What should I do now?
    When you cannot pay your tuition fee, you will receive a message from the Student Administration with instructions about the several possibilities of how to handle in your specific case. Please be assured your enrolment will not be terminated because of this issue.

    I do not have access to my bank account. Can I get financial aid?
    You can contact the student counsellors to discuss your situation. 

    I can't support myself. What should I do?
    You can contact the student counsellors to discuss your situation.

    Insurance via AON?
    Please contact them in case you are graduating, and the student insurance is no longer valid. They will search for a reasonable solution. If you have problems paying for the insurance, you can contact them as well to ask for a payment arrangement. Students can contact AON via: info@aonstudentinsurance.com

  • Health and wellbeing

    I experience a lot of stress and/or anxiety about the current situation and the future. Where can I go?
    You can contact the student psychologists counsellors to talk about your feelings by going to the walk-in consultation hours.

    I am concerned about family and/or friends in the affected areas. Who can I turn to?
    Our physical Student Wellbeing Point (main VU building, next to the Student Desk) is there for you. To offer a listening ear or to refer you to someone within the VU who can help with specific problems. We are in close contact with student counselors, academic advisors, student psychologists and the International Office. 

    I just need a listening ear. With whom can I talk?
    Our physical Student Wellbeing Point (main VU building, next to the Student Desk) is there for you. To offer a listening ear or to refer you to someone within the VU who can help with specific problems. We are in close contact with student counselors, academic advisors, student psychologists and the International Office. 

    I feel unsafe (at university) (because of my origin). Who can I turn to?
    You can contact the social safety coordinator at sociale-veiligheid@vu.nl to talk about your situation. You can also do this anonymously.

  • Graduation

    How can I receive my diploma in the affected areas?
    The VU will keep your diploma until we can safely hand it over to you. You will automatically receive a graduation statement from us by e-mail. If you have any questions, please contact the Student Desk at studentdesk@vu.nl.

  • Visa and residency

    What are the consequences for my residence permit?
    All current information on the consequences for residence permits can be found on the IND website.

    I want to apply for asylum, can the VU support this?
    No, the VU is not able to help with applying for asylum. Up-to-date information about the possibilities of applying for asylum can be found on the IND website.

  • Student refugees from Ukraine

    I am a refugee from Ukraine and want to continue my studies. What can I do?
    If you study at an Ukrainian university, but are currently a refugee in Amsterdam, we can offer you to follow courses from our Semester in Amsterdam and Summer School programmes at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for free during the current academic year 2021-2022 (until July 2022). Please contact our team to explore the options for you semesterinamsterdam@vu.nl. If you have a transcript of records and/or a copy of your student card, please add them to the e-mail so we help you as efficiently as possible.

Support for staff

  • Health and wellbeing

    If you experience distress or other problems, there are various people you may contact for advice and assistance. Please refer to this page for more information. 

    For PhD candidates specifically, you may consult the PhD psychologist in case of, e.g., anxiety, stress, or mood problems.

  • Visa and residency

    What are the consequences for my residence permit?
    Information for Ukrainian Staff: On the IND website general information is available for Ukrainian staff travelling to the Netherlands and Ukrainian staff residing in the Netherlands.

    Information for Russian Staff: Information on travelling to and from Russia is available on this IND page.

    Contact IND: You can call the IND for questions on the following telephone number: 088 043 0430. From outside the Netherlands, please call: +31 88 043 0430.

    Contact VU Staff Immigration office:
    Ukrainian and Russian staff members can also contact our VU Staff immigration team if you have specific questions, via immigration@vu.nl

  •  Scholars at risk

    In solidarity with Ukraine, the Executive Board has made available a number of additional scholarships in the Academic Freedom Programme for scholars affected by the crises in Ukraine.  VU is an active member of the Scholars at Risk network, a global network of higher education institutions arranging temporary research and teaching positions for threatened scholars. VU will also seek cooperation with SAR for the implementation of these additional scholarships for those scholars threatened by the war in Ukraine. Please contact the coordinator of the Academic Freedom project at VU (c.c.j.gerards@vu.nl) if you are a threatened scholar in need of assistance or if you would like to host a threatened scholar at your faculty.

    ​VU is an active member of Scholars at Risk. With a global network of higher education institutions around the world they arrange short-term, temporary research and teaching positions for threatened scholars. Read more information about Scholars at Risk.

Initiatives - How can I help?

  • Donate products at VU for Ukrainians in the Netherlands Foundation

    VU students Lev Medin and Uliana Krainska have started a crowdsourcing and crowdfunding campaign together with students and faculty members for Ukraine. They are collecting vitamin pills, torches and batteries, powerbanks, socks, thermal clothing and dog and cat food. These products were chosen in consultation with Ukrainians in the Netherlands Foundation that the students work with. 

For more information about the campaign and to donate, check out the website here. On Monday 2 May, Monday 16 May and Thursday 19 May, it is possible to donate items in the hall of the main building.

  • Crowdfunding campaign

    VUfonds has started a crowdfunding campaign to support the Ukrainian and Russian students in need. Your contribution is valuable and greatly appreciated!

  • Science for Ukraine

    The initiative 'Science for Ukraine' collects and distributes information about opportunities for Ukrainian students and researchers. More information can be found here

  • Help provide housing to an Ukrainians refugee student

    Two students Psychology at VU Amsterdam have set up an initiative to help students who fled Ukraine with the help of Kilian Wawoe, VU researcher and Human Resources Management Lecturer, find accommodation for this group of students. If you can help these students please send an email to: help.ukrainisnstudentsvu@gmail.com or check out their page on Facebook. 

  • Benefit films for Ukraine

    Rialto VU, along with many other Dutch film theaters, has decided to participate in the fundraising campaign of the Refugee foundation. The way they do this is - of course - with film.

    The programme includes three films by the highly acclaimed Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa: DonbassMaidan, and The Event. Loznitsa (1964) is best known for his films, documentaries and feature films, which focuses on the former Soviet Union, present-day Russia and Ukraine.

    The entire proceeds from ticket sales will be proceded to the Refugee Foundation via the well-known giro number 999. For more information, see the website of Rialto.

  • Help-Ukraine.nl

    The website Help-Ukraine.nl is made by volunteers in cooperation with the Foundation Ukrainians in the Netherlands. This page is updated daily with the latest information from the foundation and helps you with the question "how can I help".

  • People for people

    Amsterdam's business community responding rapidly to the situation. People for People is a non-profit organization supplying humanitarian aid for victims of the crisis in Ukraine.  

  • Giro 555

    In the event of exceptional disasters, the 11 cooperating aid organizations join forces under the name Giro555. They ask the entire Netherlands to join them in order to raise money to help victims.

  • Solidarity meeting

    VU Amsterdam held a solidarity meeting for Ukraine in the Auditorium on Wednesday 9 March. You can view the meeting via this link.

  • Poster campaign

    UvA professor of Latin American Studies Barbara Hogenboom has started a poster campaign protesting against Putin's attack on Ukraine, and calling for peace, freedom and democracy. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam supports this campaign. You can also support the campaign by printing the poster and displaying it. You can download the poster in several languages on this page. 

  • Volunteers needed who can speak Ukrainian or Russian

    Sportsclub Maccabi has helped 300 Ukrainian refugees to flee to the Netherlands in the past weeks. They are now staying in the Ibis and Adagio hotels near the VU Sports Centre. The hotels are staffed by volunteers who help them with their basic needs: food, medical care, psychological care, interpreters/translators, etc. The Municipality of Amstelveen is closely involved. At the moment they are still looking for volunteers who speak Ukrainian or Russian. Colleagues or students who speak one or both languages and want to help can send an email to: info@maccabi.nl.