The University of Warwick celebrates diversity this International Students Day, 17th Nov: Sanctuary Scholarship Case Study, Elya Aliieva

As the world marks International Students’ Day on November 17, the University of Warwick reaffirms its dedication to fostering global inclusivity and supporting students worldwide, especially those facing adversity in pursuit of education.

Elya Aliieva’s story stands as a testament to resilience and determination amidst challenging circumstances. Following the conflict in Ukraine, Elya found refuge in the UK and sought solace in education.

Elya was in her first year studying International Relations at Kyiv University when she had to abandon her dreams. Six months into her studies, war broke out and normal life stopped overnight.

With the support of the University of Warwick’s Sanctuary Scholarship, she has thrived academically and made meaningful contributions to the university community. Her journey demonstrates the spirit of perseverance and the profound impact of educational opportunities on individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Elmira Aliieva said : "My dream was to study in England, because my English is great and the opportunities are amazing. I quickly realised I couldn’t achieve this - we simply didn’t have the finances as a family."

"When I found out I was going to Warwick I was crying; my whole family was crying! Before that, I never felt at home. Being here, there and everywhere, travelling and not having my own room - I felt like a refugee. I was so happy to move onto campus. My flatmates are lovely and I don’t feel any different to anyone else.

Now in her second year at Warwick following her foundation course, Elya expressed, "The Sanctuary Scholarship at Warwick not only provided me with financial support but also offered a welcoming environment where I could focus on my studies and aspirations for the future. It has been a transformative journey that I am grateful for."

Next week, 27 November, the University of Warwick is hosting a special reception, to celebrate the achievements of 150 partnership scholars from around the world, and to recognise the diversity and talent that these students bring to the campus.

This event will recognise various scholarship schemes, including Sanctuary Scholarships, Chevening, Commonwealth Scholarships, and others, emphasising the university’s commitment to fostering a global community of learners and reducing the financial barriers to higher education for high-achieving individuals.

Rachel Sandby-Thomas , University of Warwick Registrar, said, "International Students’ Day is an opportunity to recognize the invaluable contributions of students from around the world to our university community. We are proud to celebrate diversity, promote inclusivity, and support initiatives such as Sanctuary Scholarships that enable students facing challenges to access quality education."