Kseniia Velychko, a legal professional from Kyiv, is studying at Oxford after being awarded one of the scholarships
Kseniia Velychko, a legal professional from Kyiv, is studying at Oxford after being awarded one of the scholarships

XTX Markets extends funding for graduate students displaced by the war in Ukraine

XTX Markets has committed a further £325,000 to extend the Oxford University Graduate Scholarships for Ukraine Programme, enabling the University to welcome another cohort of talented graduate students who have been displaced by the war.

Oxford launched the scholarship programme in November 2022 with a founding grant of £600,000 from algorithmic trading company XTX Markets, together with funding provided by the University and colleges. In its first year the programme has awarded full scholarships to a cohort of 13 students, while another four Ukrainian students have been supported through other scholarship programmes. They started at Oxford in October 2023, studying subjects ranging from Applied Digital Health to Law and Finance.

Thanks to XTX Markets’ renewed commitment to the programme, a second cohort of Ukrainian scholars will now be able to take up graduate study at Oxford, enrolling in October 2024. XTX Markets will provide part of the required funding, with the remainder being sourced by Oxford.

The University has a long history of supporting people who have been forcibly displaced around the world, including welcoming refugee academics during the Second World War and providing scholarships for graduate students from displaced backgrounds through the Refugee Academic Futures Programme. In May 2023 Oxford was awarded University of Sanctuary status in recognition of its continued determination to aid sanctuary seekers.

Professor Lionel Tarassenko, President of Reuben College and founder of the Oxford University Graduate Scholarships for Ukraine Programme, said: ‘The funding from XTX Markets has been essential to maintain a critical mass of graduate scholars from Ukraine studying at the University of Oxford. The war in Ukraine may not be front-page news any longer, but it is essential that, as a university, we continue to support the academic development of the next generation of students from Ukraine, who will play a vital role in the re-building of their country.’

Simon Coyle, Head of Philanthropy at XTX Markets, said: ‘The University of Oxford’s scholarships are a key part of XTX Markets’ £15 million Academic Sanctuaries Fund. Moving forward, we aim to prioritise programmes that both build capacity for the rebuilding of Ukraine and attract sustainable funding from multiple sources. These scholarships are exemplary in both respects.’

Building back better

The Oxford University Graduate Scholarships for Ukraine Programme is designed to assist Ukraine in ‘building back better’. After completing one-year master’s courses in selected subjects, scholars are encouraged to return and contribute to the reconstruction of their country with the knowledge as well as the networks gained during their time in Oxford.

Scholarships awarded through the programme cover the recipients’ full course fees as well as providing free accommodation, meals and a living stipend. Scholars are also given pastoral support on arrival and during their stay by a Sanctuary Community coordinator, ensuring that they settle in well and thrive at Oxford.

Kseniia Velychko, a legal professional from Kyiv, moved to Oxford with her daughter in October after being awarded one of the scholarships. Reflecting on its impact, she says: ‘I’ve always been driven by a desire to serve as a public policy changemaker, and am committed to engaging in the reconstruction of post-war Ukraine and contributing to building a better future. Pursuing a Master of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government is the perfect match for these aspirations, allowing me to gain the knowledge and skills needed to make a lasting impact.

‘Here, I find not only an environment of intellectual rigour but also a community that shares my commitment to effecting real-world change. However, this journey wouldn't have been possible without the generous support of donors. It goes beyond academic life; it's about securing a safer place for my little daughter in these tumultuous times our country faces. This support empowers me to pursue my studies with dedication and focus.’

The Oxford University Graduate Scholarships for Ukraine Programme is an extension of the Graduate Scholarship Scheme for Ukraine Refugees, which was launched in May 2022 as an immediate response to the outbreak of war. Funded by the University and the colleges, the scheme was able to provide 26 Ukrainian students with sanctuary in Oxford for the 2022-23 academic year.

Find out more here.