Texas A&M University announced on Tuesday that it is offering direct assistance, including free tuition, to Ukrainian students at the school.
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp shared the decision in a memo to university system presidents, according to the Houston Chronicle. At least 14 university students will benefit from free tuition, fees and ‘limited’ living expenses under a grant program launched after 2017 Hurricane Harvey for students with difficulties important.
The announcement comes weeks after the school severed ties with Russia, which included ending agreements “on academics, research and intellectual property”, the the Chronicle reported.
“We must strive to help those in our universities who have been affected by [Russian President Vladimir] heinous actions of Putin,” Sharp said in the letter, according to the the Chronicle. “Our Ukrainian students are in a unique, sad and difficult position as their homeland is under attack, their family members flee to safety or fight to save the sovereignty of their country. In many cases, our Ukrainian students will not have no more homes to return, and their parents remain unable to work…or worse.”
“The first thing we did was sever all ties with Russia. We had research contracts, we terminated them,” Sharp said in an interview with local NBC affiliate station KAGS on Tuesday. TV. “We have terminated all collaboration of any kind with any Russian university or any contact of our university with anything and in Russia.”
Sharp also discussed different ways the $25,000 “Regents” scholarship program could be used by Ukrainian Texas A&M students.
“The grants are set up in such a way that they can be used in a very flexible way to help students recover,” Sharp told the station. “During Hurricane Harvey, we used it to pay school fees. We used to buy books to replace books, to replace clothes, all sorts of things like that. it was necessary to ensure that these Ukrainian students could stay in school.”
Sharp’s memo also says it will open academic facilities at Texas A&M for additional faculty and students who have been displaced due to the war. Within the Texas A&M University System, there are 11 campuses, eight state agencies, one research campus, and one health sciences center.
Sharp also asked school presidents to collect the names of students who might be eligible for the grant.
“These students are Aggies. [Alumni and sports teams at Texas A&M are nicknamed “Aggies.”] It’s us. And so we want to do whatever we can to help them,” Sharp told KAGS-TV. “Secondarily, we want to send whatever message we can with the rest of the country to Vladimir Putin.”
Newsweek contacted Texas A&M University for further comment, but did not hear back in time for publication.