British Students Abroad: Ukraine

Department for Education written question – answered on 13th June 2022.

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Photo of Zarah Sultana Zarah Sultana Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to facilitate British national students studying medicine and other degrees in Ukraine, who have had to leave their studies due to the war in that country, to transfer to the same courses at UK universities.

Photo of Michelle Donelan Michelle Donelan Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)

Unfortunately, it is not possible for British Nationals who were studying in Ukraine to transfer automatically into medical and dental courses in England. However, I have urged institutions in England to consider students' circumstances sensitively and show as much flexibility as possible when considering students' applications to UK courses.

The number of places available to study medicine and dentistry is regulated by the government and controlled through intake targets operated by the Office for Students. These places are quality assured by the General Medical Council to ensure the availability of sufficient provision of high-quality education, training, and clinical placements and therefore have all been allocated for this coming academic year. There are also complex issues surrounding transferring students whose prior learning has taken place overseas directly onto medical places here in the UK.

However, the department is continuing to work closely with the education sector and across Government to ensure that students are supported and have a range of options available to them during this difficult time. These options include:

  • Continuing courses through online learning, the department is encouraging students to contact their education provider in Ukraine to understand what support they may be providing to support students to study remotely. We know that universities in Ukraine are striving to maintain the education of their students under extremely challenging conditions and therefore this may be particularly beneficial to students nearing the end of their course. We are working closely with the Medical Schools Council and the Council of Deans of Health who are liaising with universities in Ukraine to help ensure online learning materials are available to this group of students, to help them maintain their skills and continue their education remotely.
  • Applying to study a related subject in England, for the 2022/2023 academic year, the department has also been working closely with UCAS and can confirm that although the standard process to apply to study at university in the next academic year is almost complete, students can continue to apply via UCAS for courses commencing in Autumn 2022. Students can consider applying to a related subject for the next academic year. There are many opportunities to study related subjects within the UK and UCAS is ready to support anyone who would like to know more about their options. If submitting an application, prospective students can list the course and modules they have studied in Ukraine.
  • Applying to medical school in England, for the 2023/2024 academic year, like all prospective year 1 undergraduates, students have the option to apply to courses at medical and dental schools, starting in the 2023/2024 academic year, and beyond. During the application process, students could declare their study in Ukraine as part of their UCAS personal statements so that providers would be aware of this at application, however, overall, students will be applying on the basis of their A levels and would need to take a clinical aptitude test for entry and be assessed alongside other applicants.

Separately I can confirm the Student Loans Company will treat students who were living in England before leaving to study in Ukraine, and who join a course on return to the UK, as being temporary absent when assessing the requirement for three years’ ordinary residence in the UK or Crown Dependencies prior to study. Students should contact Student Finance England (or other relevant funding body if you lived in one of the Devolved Administrations prior to study in Ukraine) for further details.

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