A fresh start in the UK for Ukrainian graduates, thanks to University of Buckingham

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A Ukrainian couple who graduated from the University of Buckingham have been able to get visas to stay in this country and further their careers, thanks to thousands of pounds worth of help from the uni and its Friends group.

Married couple Vlad and Evgenia Loïk both obtained degrees in English Literature at Buckingham, and needed to stay and work in the UK, as it is not safe for them to go back to Ukraine.

But to obtain visas to stay, the couple faced a bill of around £3,500.

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After the university’s outreach and partnerships manager, Dean Jones, highlighted their plight, the uni agreed to pay most of their visa costs, with a contribution from the Friends of the University of Buckingham.

Vlad and EvgeniaVlad and Evgenia
Vlad and Evgenia

Vlad and Evgenia, both aged 28, have now moved to Oxford and have both obtained publishing jobs with Cambridge University Press & Assessment.

Vlad said: "We are extremely grateful to the university and the Friends. I've never asked anyone for help but we can't go back to Ukraine at the moment – it isn't safe.

"Evgenia's mother went to stay with my parents because of fighting. She is home now but we don't know what will happen and how long the fighting will continue.

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"My dad is a technology teacher but is currently helping volunteers with food supplies.

"The world has changed. I miss my family. Due to Covid and the war, I haven't seen them for three years.”

And he added: “I am happy to help other Ukrainians here and I am also happy to help Russians who are against the war."

Evgenia said: "We are both super happy to have got jobs linked to books and reading."

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Chairman of the Friends of the University of Buckingham, Graham Barker, said: "The Friends provide a wide range of support measures to students in times of need.

" Vlad and Evgenia were in a difficult situation and in such difficult times. The Friends were glad to be able to play a part in their visa application so that they're able to remain in the UK."Vice-chancellor James Tooley added: "We were very pleased to be able to help."