University of WA vice-chancellor Paul Johnson has expressed shock and sadness at the deaths of two international students aboard MH17.
British students Richard Mayne and Ben Pocock, both 20, were due to start exchange programs at UWA today.
Professor Johnson said Mr Mayne, from Leicester, had been studying mathematics and finance at Leeds University and was to continue his degree at UWA for two semesters.
Mr Pocock, from Bristol, had been booked to stay at the university's Trinity College while completing a semester of business and management studies.
"The UWA is shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of life of those aboard Flight MH17," Professor Johnson said.
"Our thoughts are with the families and friends of all those affected by this terrible tragedy."
A talented rugby player, Mr Mayne also completed a charity trek to Mt Everest base camp this year to raise money for disadvantaged children in Nepal.
A flood of donations since his death has pushed the fundraising total towards $5500.
Friends recalled on Facebook how excited he was for his next adventure - a year studying abroad in Australia.