India

NMC clears academic mobility plan for medical students who fled Ukraine; students say problems are far from over

The National Medical Commission on Tuesday said it will allow students, who fled from the Ukraine war seven months ago, to get a transfer to colleges in other countries, provided they cleared the screening test regulations.

This is close on the heels of Ukrainian universities offering a ‘mobility programme’, ahead of the autumn semester starting September 1, to Indian students under which they can opt to study at another university for a few semesters under the ‘student exchange’ programme. The NMC had earlier said that it doesn’t recognise such mobility programmes.

The Centre had indicated in the Supreme Court on Monday that the Ministry of External Affairs may have taken a “favourable view” towards allowing the students to continue their medical studies in India, while seeking time to consult with the health ministry. The court adjourned the case to September 15. The court had also issued notice to the government on a batch of seven writ petitions seeking relief for nearly 20,000 students who had returned from Ukraine, asking if the country had the capacity to accommodate them.

“It is informed that the mobility programme offered by Ukraine has been considered by the Commission in consultation with the Ministry of External Affairs… However, the degree will be awarded by the parent Ukrainian University,” the NMC said.

Students ET spoke with said even though universities in Ukraine have started to operate, students were not going due to the war. They said they have been getting emails from Ukrainian universities to pay the fees for the next semester, and most have not returned their documents. With many families not willing to send their children back to Ukraine, many are quitting MBBS or paying $500-1,000 extra to get seats in places such as Georgia where the seats are already filled.

“Agents are telling us we must continue online and return for practical training around February 2023. The other option is to go for a ‘mobility programme’ under which their classes will be arranged in some other university in Europe even as they will remain students of the Ukrainian university,” said Shubham Kumar, a medical student from Kharkiv Medical College.

Malavika Sharma, another student from Kharkiv said NMC only recognised theory classes online.

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