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From changing colleges to getting fee refunds: What’s next for Indian students pursuing MBBS in Ukraine

A similar situation had arisen in 2014 when Crimea became a big issue between Ukraine and Russia. Many students studying there transferred to other universities and some in Crimea Federal University went to Russia.

February 28, 2022 / 12:30 PM IST
Ukraine Russia war: The Air India evacuation flight from Romania with 219 citizens is on its way to Mumbai. (Twitter/S Jaishankar)

Ukraine Russia war: The Air India evacuation flight from Romania with 219 citizens is on its way to Mumbai. (Twitter/S Jaishankar)

Despite uncertainty surrounding Indian students of medicine in Ukraine and anxiety gripping their families back home, study abroad consultants believe everything is not lost from an education and career point of view. In an interview to Moneycontrol, Neeraj Chourasia, head of MBBS Gurukul, a study abroad consultancy for medical education aspirants, explains multiple possibilities for thousands of these students – from fee refund to shifting to other universities in neighbouring countries. Edited excerpts:

What are the options available to Indian students coming back due to war in Ukraine?

There are two options – one, continue with the same institution and university and perhaps study via online mode for a few months, and second, they be allowed to take a transfer to neighbouring countries and other universities. Universities and study abroad consultants can help in placing them in medical colleges in neighbouring Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan among others as they have a largely similar education pattern and fee structure.

Have we seen a similar situation earlier? 

A similar situation had arisen in 2014 when Crimea became a big issue between Ukraine and Russia. Students from at least three medical colleges including Crimea Federal University faced a similar situation. Many students studying there transferred to other universities and some of the Crimea Federal University students went to Russia too.

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What's your assessment about education continuity in Ukraine this year?

From an education point of view, we believe the situation will become clear in two months time. Besides, in May and June varsities announce vacations, and Indian students come back during that time, and return to their campuses in September. To be sure, right now the priority for everyone is to save lives. In two months –there will be two clear options – if the situation is better, students will go back and resume education; if not they will explore shifting to a new university. Generally, neighbouring countries that were part of erstwhile USSR take back students as laterals.

One of the concerns of Indian parents and students is the fees they have paid. What will happen to funds deposited with universities and will they refund fees while transferring to other universities?

Ukraine is less expensive in terms of medical education. Unlike some Indian varsities, they also don’t demand fees for the entire course duration in the first year itself. In first year of their education, largely students pay Rs 6 to 8 lakh, and from the second year it is much less and paid largely in semester-wise instalments.

Study abroad consultants and parents have requested government authorities and embassy officials to evacuate students and bring them back for free. Just before the war started, we are hearing that students were asked by airlines to pay Rs 75000 for a seat to return and later Indian government chipped in and announced that it will be done free.

 



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Prashant K Nanda is an Associate Editor at Moneycontrol .
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