Students in humanitarian emergency due to the conflict in Ukraine
Students in humanitarian emergency due to the conflict in Ukraine
The armed conflict currently taking place in Ukraine, the objective results of which include human rights violations and the large-scale humanitarian crisis witnessed, has led to the mass migration of the civilian population as they seek protection in various countries across Europe.
Portugal has a long-standing tradition of welcoming displaced populations. As such, and as a gesture of solidarity and humanitarian response towards the refugees, a set of norms have been implemented that grant those displaced from Ukraine temporary protection, the main purpose of which is to facilitate their integration.
Decree-Law 28-A/2022 of the 25th March lays out specific measures enabling students in higher education in Ukraine when the conflict broke out to access higher education in Portugal. To allow for the quick integration of these students so that they may continue their studies, this legislation grants them the status of “students in humanitarian emergency”, therefore placing them under temporary protection.
As such, and with a view to defending human rights and promoting solidarity and inclusion in an academic context, I hereby rule the following, per the exact terms set out in the legislation relating to the temporary protection of those displaced from Ukraine, and without prejudice to other norms that may subsequently be applied in response to the war:
I – Access to higher education
- This order relates to students who were already in higher education when the war in Ukraine began.
- Students are admitted under the status of “students in humanitarian emergency”, per Article 8-A of Decree-Law 36/2014, of the 10th March, amended and republished under Decree-Law 62/2018, of the 6th August - International Student Status.
- To this end, the following persons who qualify under the temporary protection regime may apply for the status of “student in humanitarian emergency”:
- Ukrainian citizens and foreign citizens of other nationalities or stateless persons who benefited from international protection in Ukraine, who have arrived from Ukraine and cannot return due to the ongoing conflict in the country.
- Foreign citizens of other nationalities or stateless persons in the circumstances described in the previous paragraph who can prove their family ties - relationship by blood or marriage, spousal relationship or defacto partnership - to citizens referred to in the previous paragraph, or who can prove they are permanent residents of Ukraine, whether holders of a temporary residence permit or of a long-stay visa for the purpose of obtaining such a permit, and who cannot safely and permanently return to their country of origin.
- Students who were already enrolled in Portuguese higher education on the 26th March 2022, and who are beneficiaries of temporary protection can also apply for the status of “student in humanitarian emergency”.
- Submissions of applications for the status of “student in humanitarian emergency” made directly to UAlg must always be accompanied by the document issued by the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) attesting to the granting of temporary protection.
- The admission of students covered by the regime established herein is not subject to the quantitative limitations of places previously established as available, nor the limits placed on places nor admissions established in accreditation procedures. Students may be admitted to any higher education course.
- Nevertheless, and insofar as the specific requirements of UAlg’s Integrated Master’s in Medicine (IMM) is concerned, admission is dependent on the applicant meeting both of the requirements set out below:
- Have completed an Undergraduate, Master’s or Postgraduate Degree in natural sciences, health and related sciences or exact sciences;
- Be enrolled in a Degree in Medicine at a Ukrainian public higher education institution and have passed modules that can be credited for the purpose of enrolment in the IMM.
- This order also applies to students who intend to formalise their registration and enrolment in a higher education institution/course similar to the course previously attended. A similar course is considered to be one on the same academic level and that provides equivalent training, independently of the course name.
- Students admitted under this order are exempt them from the conditions referred to in Article 6(1), of Decree-Law 36/2014 of the 10th March, as currently drafted, without prejudice to the provisions of the following point.
- The Scientific or Technical-Scientific Council of the relevant faculty shall hold an admissions process that must include an interview with the student in which they are assessed by the Course Coordinator. A duly substantiated assessment is then included in the interview minutes, expressly stating the status of the student as “Admitted” or “Not admitted”.
- Students who are admitted will immediately join existing courses currently underway in the 2021/2022 academic year, in the year corresponding to that of the accreditation granted by the foreign institution of higher education in question. This accreditation is governed by the provisions of Articles 44 to 45-B of Decree-Law 74/2006, of the 24th March, as currently drafted.
- When documentary evidence of a student’s qualifications cannot be produced, verification of whether they meet the respective conditions is carried out using the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees or other procedures, as determined on a case-by-case basis by university faculties.
- Students may also enrol for ad-hoc modules pursuant to Article 46-A of Decree-Law 74/2006, of the 24th March, as currently drafted.
II – Tuition fees, taxes and other charges
Students in humanitarian emergency who benefit from temporary protection shall be charged the same tuition fees, taxes and other charges as Portuguese students.
III – Holders of foreign academic degrees and diplomas
- Beneficiaries of temporary protection, per the terms referred to in point I(3), who are holders of a foreign academic degree or diploma but who do not meet the minimum requirements for the respective recognition required are guaranteed access to a course at the same level and in the same subject area, specialty or branch of knowledge, upon request, at any time.
- For the purposes of the previous point:
- Admissions are not subject to the quantitative limitations of places previously established as available, nor the number of places nor admissions determined through accreditation procedures;
- An applicant’s entire training and professional experience can be credited without the need to comply with the limits set out in Article 45 of Decree-Law 74/2006, of the 24th March, as currently drafted.
- Students who are admitted to the current semester will immediately join existing courses currently underway in the 2021/2022 academic year, in the year corresponding to that of the accreditation granted by the foreign institution of higher education in question.
- When documentary evidence of a student’s experience and qualifications cannot be produced, verification of whether they meet the respective conditions is carried out using the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees or other procedures, as determined on a case-by-case basis by university faculties.
IV – Provision of social support
- Students in humanitarian emergency may apply to the Directorate-General for Higher Education for a study grant.
- Exceptionally, and within the scope of the temporary protection granted to Ukrainian students, the deadline for the submission of grant applications is the 31st May of the respective academic year.
- The following measures shall apply exclusively to students granted temporary protection
- Temporary protection is equated with nationality/residence for the purpose of the awarding of grants;
- The possibility of being awarded the annual base grant in full, rather than proportionally to the application date (2021-2022);
- The requirement to demonstrate student financial circumstances through minimum salary requirements is waived.
- Students in humanitarian emergency may also gain access to indirect support, such as access to food in canteens and bars, accommodation and health services.
V – Recognition of degrees and diplomas
- Within the scope of the automatic recognition referred to in Articles 12 et seq. of Decree-Law 66/2018, of the 18th August, which approves the legal regime governing the recognition of higher education academic degrees and diplomas awarded by foreign higher education institutions, Ukrainian degrees are eligible for recognition per DGES guidance https://www.dges.gov.pt/pt/noticia/estudantes-em-situacoes-de-emergencia-humanitaria-nacionais-da-ucrania, irrespective of the applicant's nationality or whether the degree or diploma in question was issued by a Ukrainian institution.
- Pursuant to the provisions of Article 13 of Ordinance 33/2019, of the 25th January, interested parties may be exempted from submitting their actual diplomas, certificates and other academic documentation necessary for the recognition of foreign academic degrees and diplomas if facing circumstances of humanitarian emergency.
- The possibility of exemption referred to in the previous point will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, using the procedures deemed appropriate by the university faculty to verify the degree or diploma gained.
- An application for recognition submitted by a beneficiary of temporary protection is exempt from:
- The requirement to legalise documents issued by foreign entities;
- The requirement to certify or authenticate translations into Portuguese of documents written in a foreign language;
- The requirement to certify or authenticate photocopies of original documents;
- Taxes and enrolment fees or other charges.
- As set out in point I, holders of foreign academic degrees or diplomas who do not meet the minimum requirements for the respective recognition are guaranteed access to a course in the same subject area, specialty or branch of knowledge, upon request, at any time.
This order shall apply immediately and should be widely shared and published on the University of Algarve’s website.
Faro, 12 April 2022