UWTSD Welcomes Ukrainian Students to Lampeter


The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has welcomed students from Ukraine to the Lampeter campus.

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has welcomed students from Ukraine to the Lampeter campus.

Anastasiia Patiuk and Valeriia Piven both received a scholarship from UWTSD that enables students from Ukraine to study the postgraduate award in Global Citizenship and Sustainable Leadership.

They travelled from Kyiv to Lampeter in October and said they are overwhelmed by the support and the welcome that they have received.

Valeriia said: “We cannot thank the University enough for their support during this hard time, and also to the people of Lampeter. This scholarship has given us the chance to help to rebuild the future of Ukraine when we can return home.”

Before leaving Ukraine, they received support from the University to prepare for their arrival at the UK, and on campus. Valeriia added:

“Everyone has been so friendly and helpful. When we first arrived on campus, we were introduced to the different support channels that the University offered from student support to financial and also wellbeing support.”

“The UWTSD international team welcomed us with an open heart and smile and provided us with a welcome pack which contained kitchen supplies and items that made us feel totally overwhelmed. We think of them as our fairy godmothers!”

When Anastasiia first arrived at Lampeter she said she instantly felt at home.

She said: “I am originally from Olevsk,  a small town in the Zhytomyz region in Ukraine that is very similar to Lampeter. Everything is calm, and the people are very nice and so supportive here. It is somewhere where you can resync your energy from home and focus.”

For Valeriia, Lampeter is:

“a refreshing location and somewhere where you instantly feel comfortable and a part of the community. It is a place with constant activity. Everyone has welcomed us with open arms which has been overwhelming.”

UWTSD welcomes Ukrainian Students

They said the campus at Lampeter is accessible and compact and their favourite location is the library. Valeriia added :

“When we first arrived on campus, lecturer Thomas Jansen took us on a tour around the campus, and we were so impressed with the history of this magical place. Every corner has a unique story that is historically important.”

The scholarship that both have received involves studying an interdisciplinary programme providing a unique learning experience to develop global citizens and leaders of tomorrow. The programme is based around the UN sustainability goals and complements the University’s work with UNESCO.

The course aims to prepare students to critically engage with the key global challenges of the 21st century whilst providing an opportunity to develop intercultural literacy and leadership skills. It looks at ensuring that graduates have the skills necessary to take a leadership role in building communities for the future and strengthening intercultural dialogues.  

It covers a wide range of topics including immigration, global justice, labour rights, leadership and dealing with cultural differences.

Anastasiia said:

“It is a perfect course, and we are impressed with the experience that the lecturers share with us daily. The topics are interesting, and they make you think about things differently.

“This course has helped me to view the world from a wider perspective, and I love to research and to explore deeper into various topics.”

Kath Griffiths, UWTSD’s International Regional Manager said:

“The scholarships enabled the students who were residing in or have recently left Ukraine to study for a postgraduate award in Global Citizenship and Sustainable Leadership

“Student scholarships and bursaries make it possible for students, who might not be able to otherwise, to attend university. We strive to be a haven for the students who are displaced, offering a refuge in Wales. We are delighted that the students feel settled and at home in Lampeter.”

Although both students enjoy their time at Lampeter – Ukraine still means everything to them. Each day they watch the daily message given by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy together via social media, and often feel emotional thinking about their families at home, but at the same time know that they are making their families proud.

“My family is happy that I have had this opportunity to further my studies in a safe environment, and at such a wonderful place. I have so much to tell them when we contact each other,” said Anastasiia.

“It is really hard being away from home, and not being able to see them and my boyfriend. I do hope that things will change before long.”

Valeriia said:

“My mother studied at Bailbrook College, near Bristol many years ago, and she fell in love with the UK, and her dream was for me to come and study here too. So, I am reliving my mother’s dream, and making the family proud by pursuing this opportunity. We are so grateful.”

Anastasiia and Valeriia will study at Lampeter for the next two years but are looking forward to returning to Ukraine after graduating.

Anastasiia said: “I will return to Ukraine, and I would like to work in a government organisation so that I can tackle issues and make the world a better place.

“Hopefully I can take what I’ve learned from Lampeter back to Ukraine and influence the workplace.”

Valeriia worked as a PR manager for the analytical centre at the Ukrainian Institute for the Future before arriving at Lampeter, and said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for me to improve myself. After widening my circles of study, I will continue to work within analytics or in international relations. I would like to work in the field of global problems and communities.”

UWTSD’s lecturer Lina Malagon adds:

“ Teaching our Ukrainian students has been a mutual process of learning and growing. The Global Citizenship module has been an opportunity to explore diverse global problems, in which Anastasiia and Valeriia have actively participated. Together, we have examined, studied, and criticised our role as global citizens and our capacity to contribute to global transformation.

 “They all have been remarkable as participants in our academic programme. From their personal experience and their academic skills, we have created an atmosphere of critical thinking concerning the most intriguing debates, such as the role of the United Nations in the conflict in Ukraine, the crisis of labour rights at the global level, the gender gap and discrimination against women or the worldwide refugee crisis.

 “I have been delighted to teach them. They have been energetic students with a positive attitude about their country's and their people's future from the first day they arrived from Ukraine or participated from there virtually. In my mind, I will keep hold of their shared ideas about being in Wales to learn, gain knowledge and develop tools with which – on their return to their country – they will be able to rebuild and effect the change needed for a better Ukraine.”

Gwilym Dyfri Jones, Provost of UWTSD's Lampeter and Carmarthen campuses said: 

"UWTSD is delighted to be able to support Anastasiia and Valeriia. By providing them with a safe haven and a supportive and stimulating learning environment at Lampeter, it is our hope that both will be seen to become effective leaders in the future. We're proud that they've settled in with us and that the campus communities and the town of Lampeter more broadly have been so supportive and welcoming to them."

Ukraine students with Gwilym Dyfri Jones

Both will be celebrating Christmas with friends at Lampeter this year, and they hope to combine both Welsh and Ukrainian traditions around the table, whilst thinking about their loved ones back home.

For Anastasiia: “Christmas this year isn’t as magical as usual. My boyfriend is on the frontline as a Medical Doctor. I do hope that they will be able to come together for a meal on Christmas Day so that they can get some Christmas Spirit.”

Valeriia adds: “Christmas is different this year. Ukrainian people are strong people, and they will be celebrating Christmas anyway, but this year it will be celebrating with a taste of bitter loss, and a glimpse of hope for the future.”

 “Our main dish for Christmas usually is Kutya – a sweet porridge made out of wheat or rice and dried fruits. We usually start our Christmas festivities by eating this, and then 12 different dishes appear on the table to note the 12 days of Christmas. We usually place a garlic clove on each corner of the table to protect us from bad spirits.  We hope this year we’ll be able to introduce our traditions to our friends at Lampeter!”

Lampeter students from Ukraine

Further Information

Lowri Thomas, Principal Communications and PR Officer

07449 998476