Skip to main content

18 July 2022

XTX Markets makes £3M donation to support displaced students and academics

King's has received a £3 million donation to support students and academics impacted by the war in Ukraine through the launch of a new Sanctuary Hub.

A red flag with the King's College London logo

King's has received a £3 million donation from XTX Markets' Academic Sanctuaries Fund to support students and academics impacted by the war in Ukraine through the launch of a new Sanctuary Hub.

This ambitious project builds on the longstanding work of King's Sanctuary Programme, which aims to create opportunities for forcefully displaced people, including most recently partnering with Citizens UK to create a sponsorship model for the UK Government's 'Homes for Ukraine' scheme for use across UK universities.

The Sanctuary Hub

The Sanctuary Hub will use a unique distribution model to provide a range of studentships and fellowships for individuals impacted by the war, including students and academics from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. Centred around the needs of displaced students and academics, the studentships and fellowships will be offered by a network of university partners, enabling eligible individuals to apply to a range of higher education institutions. As part of their resettlement, the students and academics will receive wraparound support to enable them to thrive within the university community, such as dedicated mentorship, wellbeing and accommodation support and access to English language classes.

The Sanctuary Hub will be an innovative space centred on collaboration, research and policy development with the aim of supporting forcefully displaced students and academics from around the world. It forms part of King’s Sanctuary Programme's work to create education-led resettlement routes for people whose studies or research has been disrupted due to conflict or forced displacement.

Forced displacement is one of the most urgent global issues today, and here at King's we are determined to be part of the solution. This donation from XTX Markets will help us build on the foundations of the work underway through King's Sanctuary Programme and enable us to continue supporting displaced people, including those affected by the war in Ukraine and individuals around the world impacted by forced migration. Crucially, this work is forged with a spirit of collaboration, partnership and synergy, as we create networks across the UK and around the world so that we can use our scholarships and collective expertise to provide meaningful support for those most affected.

Professor Shitij Kapur, President & Principal of King's College London

A collaborative approach

The donation announced today will allow King's to further a collaborative approach to the crisis, working with partners and colleagues across the higher education sector to develop a co-ordinated response and a longer-term framework for refugee resettlement, with wraparound support for individuals brought to the UK.

King's has a long tradition of research, education and action on migration and forced displacement. We are now working to put our model of community refugee sponsorship in practice at scale. The launch of our new Sanctuary Hub, supported by this generous donation from XTX, allows us to respond ambitiously to the crisis in Ukraine in a way that is collaborative and - most-importantly - person-centred. Drawing on the strengths of our partners involved, the Sanctuary Hub is highly responsive, focusing on the needs of the individual student or scholar and their family, ensuring their safety and their ability to continue their education and research.

Professor Evelyn Welch, Senior Vice Principal (Service, People & Planning)

Created with collaboration at its heart, the Sanctuary Hub will offer a higher education sanctuary model informed by a methodology based on listening, relationship-building and co-creation with a range of partners and people most affected by forced displacement. Partner universities will work closely to share scholarships and resources, exchange knowledge, and shape national and international policy.

Realising our shared ambition

"I am delighted that we have been given the opportunity to lead and develop the Sanctuary Hub as a space of research, policy and practice, based on solidarity with the people most affected by forced displacement," said Dr Leonie Ansems de Vries, Reader in International Politics, Chair of the Migration Research Group, and Director of the King's Sanctuary Programme. "Our vision is to create practical and policy-orientated interventions that are research-led and developed in collaboration with our partners and affected communities."

Adding to this, Professor Bronwyn Parry, Professor of Global Health & Social Medicine and Co-Director of the King’s Sanctuary Programme, said "It is truly rewarding to see the commitments that have been made by King's and our strategic partners in developing support for displaced refugees and academics recognised through this very generous gift, which will create an innovative model of cross-sectoral collaboration for delivering transformative educational opportunities and safe and legal pathways for refugee re-settlement in the UK."

This new gift from XTX builds on an existing relationship with King's; their significant support of King's Maths School (named Best State Sixth Form School of the Decade by Sunday Times School's Guide) enables the development of high-attaining young mathematicians and supports activities to cultivate mathematically talented students from underrepresented backgrounds.

XTX is delighted to be supporting the King's College London Sanctuary Hub via our newly launched Academic Sanctuaries Fund. The hub will offer outstanding educational opportunities, as well as full personal and community support for students and academics fleeing this unjust war. We are particularly pleased to further strengthen our long-term partnership with King's.

Simon Coyle, Head of Philanthropy, XTX Markets

Building on a history of supporting forcibly displaced people

The ambitious scope of this project builds on King's longstanding work in creating opportunities for forcefully displaced people.

In December 2021, King's became the first UK university to resettle a refugee student and their family as part of the UK Community Sponsorship scheme. The King's Refugee Community Sponsorship Scheme was developed in partnership with the Home Office, UNHCR and Citizens UK. It has provided an opportunity for a refugee student, who has been displaced as a result of the Syrian conflict, and their family to find a new and welcoming home in London. King's developed this model via an ESRC Impact Acceleration Grant to support other UK universities to become refugee sponsors as part of a wider ambition to develop new education-led pathways for forcibly displaced people worldwide.

King’s continues to share learnings from that scheme to inform new initiatives, including a set of resources and detailed guidance on how best to support hosts and refugees through the resettlement process. 

Key initiatives at King's include:

Further information

In this story

Shitij Kapur

Vice-Chancellor & President of King's College London

Evelyn Welch

Former Senior Vice President (Service, People & Planning)

Leonie  Ansems de Vries

Reader in International Politics

Bronwyn Parry

Visiting Professor

Related departments