Ukraine returnees divided on Russia’s proposal to accommodate Indian students

Indian students returning from Ukraine during the peak of the Russia-Ukraine war | Photo: Twitter

With the Deputy Chief of Mission of Russian Embassy in New Delhi, Roman Babushkin, proposing the idea of admitting them to Russian universities without losing on their previous years of study, Indian students who returned from Ukraine are not on the same page about the offer.

“Though we haven’t received any official directions on shifting our studies to Russia or other European countries, many of us are wondering what the next move should be. Students who live in Delhi have already approached the Indian authorities regarding the matter and are awaiting a positive response on the same,” said Jaineel Jani, from Dnipro State Medical Academy, who added that with Ukrainian universities deciding to continue with online classes till next year, students risk missing out on a lot of practicals. “I just completed my Semester 4 examination on June 10th and once we complete the remaining lectures and receive our results, students will be more sure about the decision to shift to other countries,” Jaineel suggested.

Others like Waseem Khan, from Lviv University, are more optimistic about going to Russia to continue their studies. “If Russia offers us admissions, we would have to follow through because we are not able to attend offline classes,” said Waseem who didn’t share the same enthusiasm about other European countries considering their requirements from the students. “It is important to understand that students can’t continue into the next year in countries such as Hungary, as they will want us to repeat the year in their University compared to Russia where there’s no such mandate,” added Waseem, who lives in Uttar Pradesh.

Other students have held meetings with their education guides in India who recommended them to continue with online classes conducted by universities in Ukraine. “Students from our University held an online meeting with MD House, who acts as our guide and consultant, and the rector of our University. It was decided in the meeting that students can continue online classes till March as the lectures are going well and there’s no option of transfer to universities in other countries,” stated Mahima who personally prefers continuing her studies in Ukraine but added that she wants the degree at the end of the day since online medical lectures are not recognised by NMC (National Medical Commission). “The cost of living, and food prices are high in Ukraine, and returning to the country would also be a tough decision for many of us,” added Mahima, from Bukovinian State Medical University.

Students and parents are also looking forward to NMC’s decision on accommodating Indian students in India, the deadline for which is on June 29th as mandated by the Supreme Court.

“We are awaiting the final decision by NMC on the future of Indian students who returned from Ukraine as we expect them to avail admissions in India itself,” said Tehseen Samad, a parent of a Ukraine returnee who said that his son and many other students are not interested in going to Russia and would prefer other European countries but other factors put a hindrance to the same. “We are also worried about the high costs that come with studying in Europe so our first preference remains with India,” added Mr. Tehseen.

Consultancies, who have helped and guided students to make Ukraine their study destination, are on a wait-and-watch approach for the time being. “At this stage, Russia seems to be keen on taking in Indian students and they have been proactive in putting themselves forward as an option for the students but the decision about providing admission cannot lie with the universities alone as the government is the decision-maker,” added Nicy Vinu, Director of Overseas Programmes at Santa Monica Study Abroad, who said though Hungary and other European countries seem lucrative, the costs and patterns attached to them can prove to be difficult for Indian students. “Students we have talked to are divided on making the move to other countries unless scholarships can come into the picture,” Nicy added.

Dr. Audhoot Nirgude, a Counsellor who deals with Indian students who want to take admissions to Bukovinian State Medical University, on the other hand expressed doubts over Russian universities claiming to offer admissions to Indian students. “Do you have the capacity to accommodate even over 2000 students in the country? Unless and until the NMC clarifies its stance on admissions to students in India it would be better if we stop focusing on mere statements. I believe that there will be no more delays in decisions on the future of Indian students from Ukraine, once they are announced on June 29,” said Dr. Nirgude.

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