We all share deep sorrow and outrage over the unjustified attack on Ukraine, its democratic government, and its people. Illinois Tech stands in solidarity with our Ukrainian students, staff and faculty and with all whose homelands are suffering from violence, war, and injustice.
The university is pursuing concrete ways to help our Ukrainian students during this crisis. Here are a few of the steps that we’ve taken over the past few weeks, as well as some resources that are available to help support the Ukrainian people during this difficult time.
Partnering with universities across the nation to advocate for temporary protected status (TPS) and special student relief (SSR) for Ukrainian students: As you may know, Illinois Tech is deeply involved with the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, an organization of university presidents that advocates for international students and immigration reform. I serve on the steering committee of the Presidents’ Alliance, and Jess Goode, Illinois Tech’s vice president for external affairs, serves on its Federal Policy Advisory Table.
The Presidents’ Alliance acted immediately as the invasion of Ukraine began, issuing a public letter calling on the federal government to extend temporary protected status (TPS) and special student relief (SSR) for Ukrainian students studying in the United States. Our team and the Presidents’ Alliance are in constant communication to support these efforts, and on March 3, the United States Department of Homeland Security granted TPS for Ukrainian citizens (including students) living in the U.S.
The Presidents’ Alliance is continuing to reach out to federal agencies and advocate that SSR be granted for the nearly 2,000 Ukrainian international students living in the U.S. On March 18 the Presidents’ Alliance met with the deputy assistant secretary for educational and cultural affairs at the U.S. Department of State to advocate for a more effective TPS and SSR process not only for Ukrainians but also students from Afghanistan, Cameroon, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Sudan.
Welcoming student refugees: As we have with refugees from Syria and Afghanistan, Illinois Tech is working with the Presidents Alliance and other partners to invite and host student refugees from Ukraine.
Student guide for refugee advocacy: The University Alliance for Refugees & At-Risk Migrants has resources and a guide for student advocates to help promote displaced student accessibility to higher education, creating welcoming campuses, and promoting long-term well-being.
NAFSA advocacy resources: NAFSA’s immigration resources for Ukraine has additional information on its efforts to support students and scholars in crisis
The university will continue these efforts in the weeks ahead, and will work to welcome more Ukrainian students to Illinois Tech and Chicago.
President, Illinois Institute of Technology