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Durham University strives to be an inclusive community and we recognise that members will be deeply affected by the war in Ukraine. Your safety and wellbeing is paramount and these FAQs draw together the support available to any student affected by the war. 

The University’s statement is available to read here, which expresses our sorrow and sympathy for those affected War in Ukraine - Durham University. 

We are an inclusive community and people will be affected by the current situation in many different ways. Even at the height of tensions, we must continue to respect and support one another. 

FAQS for Students

(Last updated 20 February 2023)

Is there any emotional and spiritual support I can access? 

The Counselling and Mental Health Service can provide emotional support to students.  Most students are referred to the service via the Student Support Office in Colleges.  Students can also self-refer via 

The University’s chaplains are available to students of all faiths, beliefs and worldviews and provide a non-judgemental listening ear. The contact details for the chaplains can be found at 

Where can I find advice for my personal wellbeing? 

Frontline support for students is offered through our Colleges' Student Support Offices. Staff within the Colleges are here to help you and to answer any queries you may have. They can also signpost you to other support services available.  Names and contact details can be found here: CollegesStudentSupportContacts.pdf ( 

I’m personally affected by events in Ukraine and I don’t think I will be able to sit exams/submit assessments. Can I pause my studies? 

Students who unfortunately find themselves unable to sit exams or submit their assessments due to the current situation should discuss the matter with their Department and College. We will work with you to look at the possibility of suspending your studies and ensure you have access to any relevant support.

If I suspend my studies, how long can I suspend them for? 

Suspension of studies is normally for one year, but it may be possible for this to be extended further if circumstances require it. Discussions will need to be had with your Department and College and we will continue to support you as much as possible. 

When is the latest I can suspend my studies? 

You can suspend your studies at any point during the academic year. It is always better to inform your Department and College as soon as possible if you wish to do this, or even if you are thinking of suspending your studies. 

Will suspending my studies affect my tuition fees? 

If you have paid for the academic year in full and you have to re-schedule all or part of your studies, these funds would be transferred to when you return. 
If, however, you have part-paid your academic fees, you would still be expected to pay the remaining balance when you return. 

I wish to leave my course and not return to study. Can I do so? 

You can withdraw from your course at any point during the academic year. We ask that you discuss this with your Department and College to ensure you have access to any relevant support during this difficult decision. 

If I suspend my studies, when would I be able to return? 

In general, you would return to your studies at the equivalent point in the following academic year. For example, if you suspended at the beginning of April 2023, you would recommence April 2024. 

However, not all modules or courses are available every academic year, so your department must be involved when determining when you will be re-starting your studies. 

How will studying on a visa, either sponsored by the University or by someone else, be affected? 

UK visa rules for students are determined by the Government. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) are continuing to update their advice, the latest of which can be found here. Any changes or new visas may incur a financial cost. 

If you have any questions about your student visa, please contact the Student Immigration Team ( 

Ukrainian Nationals in the UK and in need of assistance can also contact UKVI via telephone: 0300 3032785, select option 2. 

I need some Immigration advice. Where can I get this? 

We have arranged free initial legal advice for Ukrainian and Russian students for immigration support and advice. 

David Gray & Co Solicitors (Newcastle-based solicitors who specialise in Immigration law) have agreed to advise you about your status and options. 

This advice will be delivered free of charge by telephone and/or email. It will not include assisting with any application. However, if required, David Gray & Co would signpost you to where you may be able to get help, e.g. to a solicitor who could offer legal-aided asylum advice. 

To access this free service, please email: and include in the email subject the words 'Durham University student' and your nationality. 

Ukrainian students are also encouraged to contact the Ukraine Advice project, which offers free initial advice to Ukrainians and their families. Details can be found here: Ukraine Advice Project UK – Free UK immigration and asylum advice for Ukrainians and their families from qualified lawyers ( 

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) supports international students, providing advice and guidance around visas, immigration and much more. 

Further details are here: 

I need support with my accommodation. Where can I find this? 

If you are experiencing difficulties in terms of travelling home or any other residential issue, please speak to your College Student Support Office in the first instance.  

If you leave your accommodation early, it will depend on your contract as to whether there will be any remaining financial obligations to you. 

I’m thinking of travelling to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus. Can I do so? 

We would ask that students carefully consider any travel to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus at the present time. You should take into account travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), noting that current advice is not to travel to either country. You must consider that you may find it very difficult to both travel to and to leave Ukraine or Russia at the present time. 

The University Executive Committee (UEC) has taken the decision to prohibit travel on University business to Belarus, Russia and Ukraine until further notice.  

We continue to monitor the situation but, as it is unlikely that this will change in the foreseeable future, we are now working through the implications for placements and activities planned for the rest of this and next academic year. Further details will be made available as they are known.