Russian government’s announcement to accept Indian students, who left Ukraine due to the war, to continue their medical education in Russian universities has brought in long-awaited respite. However, no circular or guidelines have been released till now by the National Medical Commission (NMC) to give visibility about the mechanism process for university transfer to Russia.
Recently, Oleg Avdeev, Russian Consul General mentioned that the medical syllabus is almost the same in Russia and Ukraine and the similarity has educational benefits. This has evoked little hope among students waiting for campus transfer.
“The offer made by Russia is not a new initiative. Granting admission to Ukraine-returned Indian students at medical colleges and hospitals is a process in progress for the past few months. The extended educational helping hand would have served more effectively in curbing the distress, if the announcement was done in a more formal format and a bit earlier,” says, Anuj Goyal, education counsellor and co-founder, Get My University.
Goyal adds, “Russia has strong clinical infrastructure. Medical state universities offer quality education and are in contact with the Indian embassy to carry out prompt evacuation whenever needed. So, students’ safety to be transferred to the Russian campus is also not a big concern. ”
National Medical Commission’s (NMC) gazette dated November 18, 2021, concerning Foreign Medical Graduate Licentiate 2021 Regulation (FMGL) has put conditions that foreign medical students whose classes have been started after the release of this circular (November 18, 2021), will be covered under the provision. Applicability of FMGL regulation will not be considered, on the basis of the offer/invitation/admission letter. This clashes with the NMC’s advisory for APL guidelines released on September 6, 2022 which demands fulfilment of the Screening Test Regulation 2002 criteria. Confusion is created at this juncture, as from now onwards first-year students enrolled in 2021 at Ukranian universities become ineligible for both transfer and Academic Mobility Programme (AMP).
Highlighting the cracks in the university transfer from Ukraine to Russia protocols, Goyal adds, “There is still no clarity on whether new students with, without, or either online transcripts can relocate themselves and continue with their MBBS course. Considering the gazette, the option of transfer or AMP is withdrawn. Forcing first-year students to apply for afresh admission, in case curriculum mapping fails to accommodate them in next suitable semester at the transferred varsity. Else, students are left with the only option to attend online lectures hosted by their respective Ukrainian universities and wait for the situation to improve so they can report back to the parent campus and continue practical classes.”
Discussing the complications, Goyal says, “Students are suffering because of the faulty guidelines of NMC. The Commission should introduce fair flexibility on humanitarian grounds and acknowledge the international crisis. Embassy of India in Ukraine and NMC collectively have to share responsibility for setting up a regulatory authority or body, to ensure that quality education is provided to students opting to transfer and smooth legal transition. Also, first-year students seeking admission relocation through APL need to be extra cautious and take the next step only after gaining a positive revert from NMC.”
Falling under FMGL regulations is a hindrance for students as they are not eligible for AMP, thus, they cannot pursue the MBBS programme. Aaditya Raval, second-year student at Bogomolates National Medical University, Ukraine facing no campus transfer scenario as he is covered under the new FMGL provision, and is looking for fresh admission in other countries. Raval says, “I took the admission in December 2021 and came back in February 2022. During this time, I took online theory classes, for which I paid almost Rs 12-15 lakh fee. Due to the admission datelines, I am restricted from taking transfer/relocation and forced to take fresh admission in another country. So, I am applying for fresh admission at Ulyanovsk State Medical University, Russia. This is the only choice I am left with and I will now pay approximately Rs 30 lakh as the total fee amount for the whole course. ”





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