UCL Grand Challenges


Solidarities: Ukraine refugee reception policies

Examining Ukraine refugee reception policies and practices in the UK with a view to comparative European research.

Two people standing with suitcases backs to camera

30 June 2022


Grant: Ad hoc funding
Year awarded: 2021-22
Amount awarded: £5,000


  • Professor Mette Louise Berg, Social Research Institute, Thomas Coram Research Unit, IOE
  • Dr Silke Zschomler, Social Research Institute, IOE
  • Dr Jo Billings, Division of Psychiatry, Faculty of Brain Sciences

This cross-disciplinary pilot research project seeks to gain real-time understanding of the UK’s developing response to the Ukraine refugee crisis, at policy as well as on-the-ground person-to-person level.

The reception of Ukrainians fleeing the war marks a change from otherwise increasing hostility towards refugees and migrants in the UK. The UK Government's Homes for Ukraine and Ukraine Family schemes rely on public goodwill and family support for Ukrainians seeking sanctuary in the UK. This project will critically examine the realities and dynamics that emerge from the meeting between public support and new policy responses forged against a background of ‘hostile environment policies’. To do so, the project takes an interdisciplinary, multi-level approach:

  • Mapping and analysis of policymaker and practitioner views on the new policy approaches and schemes vis-à-vis Ukrainian refugees
  • Mapping and analysis of everyday practices and experiences of solidarity, hospitality, and welcome (host families and Ukrainians)
  • Examination of the role of established networks of Ukrainian migrants and diasporans 

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