Minister Harris announces central helpdesk for Ukrainian people seeking access to third level education
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today (May 3rd) announced the establishment of a National Student and Researcher (NSR) Helpdesk.
This facility will be available to assist Ukrainian students and researchers who are seeking to continue their higher education studies in Ireland.
The National Student and Researcher (NSR) Helpdesk, which will be supported in its work by a National Steering Group, will be hosted by Maynooth University and will assist the needs of third-level students and researchers fleeing the war. It will be staffed by six people seconded from HEIs around Ireland and will operate for an initial six months, funded by DFHERIS.
Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “The third level sector has once again shown important leadership since the unlawful war in the Ukraine. A new central helpdesk will be established providing important information to Ukrainian people seeking to access third level here in Ireland.
“The helpdesk will be staffed by Admissions and Researcher Advisors and other experts who will be able to direct students to a local college equipped to meet their educational needs. The Advisors are currently receiving additional training to strengthen the capacity to engage with displaced persons.
“I know that many students have already been in contact with our institutions, and the first task of colleagues at the NSR Helpdesk will be to centralise data from these contacts.
“Our priorities in our education systems have to be, to welcome, support and meet the needs of the students, teachers and researchers who are displaced, and I am convinced that this helpdesk is a key element to achieve just that. I am also bringing a Memo to Government on a range of additional supports for affected persons.
“I am confident that the services to be delivered through the helpdesk will enable Ukrainian students to make informed decisions about their continued education before the commencement of the new academic year in September 2022.”
Those seeking assistance can contact [email protected] or call +353 (0)1 474 7788. This will first facilitate students who have made direct contact with third level institutions. The helpdesk will be fully operational for all students in mid-May.
The National Steering Group, which is chaired by DFHERIS, is composed of key higher education stakeholders and will ensure the alignment of national policies and decisions with those delivering educational services to displaced students and researchers.