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Explained: Why students from Punjab, Haryana go to Ukraine to study medicine

According to the Ministry of Education and Science in Ukraine there are over 18,095 students from India in Ukraine.

Indians land in New Delhi after being evacuated from Ukraine on Thursday, February 24, 2022. (Express Photo: Gajendra Yadav)

Caught in the crossfire of Russia’s attack on Ukraine are countless Indian students. Stuck in Ukraine amid an escalating military crisis, several had gone there to pursue an education in medicine. Among these medical students are many from Haryana and Punjab.

How many Indian students are there in Ukraine?

According to the Ministry of Education and Science in Ukraine there are over 18,095 students from India in Ukraine.

Jalandhar-based Dr Ashwani Sharma’s two children went to Ukraine in November last year to pursue MBBS course. He said that like his children thousands of students from India, including Punjab, are pursuing their MBBS degrees in Ukraine.

His children are still stuck in Ukraine as they were to return home on February 26, but could not due to airspace closure.

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An education consultant from Jalandhar informed that a large number of students from Punjab are now preferring MBBS courses in Ukraine because there is no competition there like in India.

“My children opted to pursue their MBBS course from Ukraine because they wanted to go abroad for higher studies,” he said, adding that they were getting a seat here too.

A girl student from Punjab’s Nawanshahr district (who wished not to be named) who is stuck in Ukraine informed that several hundred students from Punjab, Haryana and Delhi are doing MBBS in Ukraine’s various colleges.

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Why is Ukraine preferred for an MBBS courses?

Dr Sharma said that MBBS degree in Ukraine is recognised all over including by Indian Medical Council, World Health Council, in Europe, UK etc. Also it is less expensive.

“In India a student needs Rs 10 to 12 lakh annual fee for this four and half year course and one need to spend Rs around 50 lakh to complete the course in any private college because not every student can get admission in the government colleges where the fee is around Rs 2 lakh per annum,” said another doctor, who’s son is studying MBBS in Ukraine.

In Ukraine, the annual fee for MBBS courses is Rs 4-5 lakh, which is around three times lesser as compared to fee in Punjab medical colleges, said a student from Jalandhar who is stuck in Kiev.

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There are only four government medical colleges in Punjab and remaining around half dozen are private where the fee as compared to government colleges is six times, said a senior doctor at Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, in Punjab.

However, Dr K K Talwar, Punjab government’s Health Advisor and former Director of PGI, Chandigarh, said that it was beyond his understanding why students from here were going to pursue MBBS degrees in Ukraine while sufficient number of medical seats were available in Punjab or in India.

“I pray that all students reach home safely,” he said.

Is it easy to take admission in Ukraine in the MBBS course?

According to Vice Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences Faridkot, Raj Bahadur, the students who cannot get admission here prefer to go to Ukraine to take up their MBBS courses. Here you need to clear the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) with high percentile as there is a stiff competition.

NEET is conducted for admission to undergraduate medical courses in government and private colleges and the qualification is mandatory for pursuing the same course abroad.

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To get admission in an MBBS course in Ukraine students just need to qualify NEET as there is hardly any criteria for a high score.

A student said that the number of students appearing in NEET is much higher than the seats available in the medical colleges and those who cannot secure a seat there they can opt for Ukraine which is cheaper too.

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Another student said that like India in Ukraine too there is extensive practical exposure to the students and the degree is also globally recognised and medical colleges in Ukraine have good infrastructure.

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First published on: 25-02-2022 at 04:05:31 am
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