Online classes are set to begin in most colleges across Ukraine, bringing immediate but temporary relief to Indian medical students, whose education has been cut short due to the ongoing war there.
The students said they were informed of the move by mail from Ukrainian universities.
Although Poland, the United Arab Emirates, Hungary and the Center have offered help to students, the majority of them want to complete their studies from Ukraine to avoid confusion about university transfers in the future.
Raifa, an undergraduate medical student from Kerala who was continuing her studies in the war-torn country, is relieved her classes are set to resume soon. “Even though it’s online, I’m glad there’s some continuity. My college emailed me about online classes starting soon,” she said.
According to students who are currently in India, the uncertainty of course progress, the stalemate-like situation of Indian students pursuing MBBS from China who have not been able to return for the past two years and the fact that the National Medical Commission does not recognize or endorse any medical course delivered solely in online mode – adds to the problem.
Apart from India, which now allows Ukrainian students to complete their internship here, colleges from Poland, Hungary, UAE and others have also opened their doors to this section.
“Providing major relief to Indian medical students displaced from Ukrainian universities, Gulf Medical University (GMU) stands ready to welcome displaced students with free places and scholarships based on merit criteria and admission policies of the “University. This effort is intended to ensure that education is not interrupted for students who are affected,” a statement said.
Students, however, do not know how the transfer system will work, nor do they wish to wait for possible internship initiatives. Many of them want to complete their undergraduate program in Ukraine itself.
“We don’t want to take any chances on how breaks and course transfers will work for us in the future. Almost every country has its own set of rules when it comes to foreign nationals working there as doctors or even for those wishing to study for post-graduation. It is better to complete the entire course in one country and one university,’ said another student from West Bengal who did not wish to be identified.
Students who are in their third year and above are now worried about their practical lessons and admit that online lessons are only suitable for theory.
“We don’t see ourselves returning to Ukraine immediately. Although the college gave us a timetable and the teachers promised to be available to help us with the course; practical lessons are essential,” said Vikram Katiyal from Delhi, who is studying at a college in Ukraine.
Apart from undergraduate medical students studying in Ukraine, those who have been in India for two years from China as a result of the pandemic have also approached the Center for help.
“The government has done everything to help Ukrainian students. The Indian government offers them assistance to complete their internship and other foreign universities have also offered to host them – none of these facilities have been given to Indian students enrolled in medical colleges in China. We hope the government will step in and do something for them as well,’ said Sunil Sharma from Haryana, whose daughter is enrolled in medical education in China and has been living in India for more than two years now.