Ukrainian Students settle into life in Ireland as War continues

The Department of Education has confirmed that as of December of last year, 13,753 Ukrainian students have been enrolled in Irish schools.

Hundreds have sat exams and many more are expected to continue on into the Higher Education system. With many Ukrainians studying at Universities in Ireland, supports have been made available. Last Summer, Minister Harris announced that the cabinet approved a decision to treat Ukrainian applicants as European students, exempting them from international fees.

Many students from Ukraine remain enrolled in Universities back home and continue their studies online while based in Ireland. One source informed the University Observer that they were continuing their studies while working at a pub in Dublin, and that many of their classmates continue to access campus facilities in Ukraine despite the ongoing violence and shelling caused by the Russian invasion.

The War in Ukraine has uprooted millions and caused massive devastation, as well as disruption to civilian life. A February report from the Irish Times claims that over 75,000 Ukrainian refugees are currently residing in Ireland, citing data obtained by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). According to the report, one-third of the refugees were under the age of 20. This would appear to indicate that many of the arrivals are of school and college-age, increasing the number of students across all levels of the Irish education system.

UCD has declared its solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and announced a range of supports available to incoming students fleeing the country. UCD’s response to the situation in Ukraine had previously drawn controversy, with the University stating that it shared “concern with the situation,” falling short of an explicit condemnation of Putin’s invasion. However, the University later clarified its position, stating that it “deplores and condemns the actions of Russia in invading and attacking Ukraine.”

Professor Ben Tonra had resigned from his position as College of Social Sciences and Law’s Vice Principal for Internationalisation and Global Engagement in protest over the controversial response. Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Professor Tonra argued that the University’s internationalisation strategy was “built on income generation,” resulting in an arguably weak initial statement. Professor Tonra continues to lecture and research as Full Professor of International Relations. The University has since offered clarification on the controversy surrounding its initial statement.

More information on UCD’s response to the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war is available at

For more information on the support services made available to Ukrainian refugees by the Irish government, visit