Low MBBS fees lure Indian students to Ukraine

PUNE Caught in the crossfire of the Russian attack on Ukraine are countless Indian students. Stuck in Ukraine amid an escalating military crisis, many have traveled there to pursue medical studies. This emphasized the low MBBS course fees charged by medical institutions in the war-torn nation. Medical universities in Ukraine charge fees for 30 lakh – Rs35 lakh for MBBS course against Rs1 crore (including donation) charged in India.

Dhanashree Mehta, a second year MBBS student, said, “After completing my class 12, I started preparing for my NEET exam. But since my score was average, I started looking for other options outside the country. Then a friend of mine told me about medical universities in Ukraine and with the help of consultants I managed to get admitted to one of the medical colleges in Ukraine. The main reason was that I was unable to gain admission here in India and the private universities required heavy donations. As we are a middle-class family, we could not afford such high donations, so the cost of studying in Ukraine was relatively less.

Another student, Anup Devtale, who is in the second year of MBBS at the Bucovina State Medical University (BSMU) located in the city of Chernivtsi, Ukraine, said: “I come from a rural area in the district de Sangli and becoming a doctor was a dream. My parents are farmers and we can’t afford to pay high fees here in India, we decided to get admitted abroad, I came back to India last week because of this.

Quality medical training

Dr Sudarshan Gherade, President of the Foreign Medical Association of India (FMAI), said: “Russia and Ukraine are very popular academic destinations among Indian medical students. The reason is simple and clear: private medical colleges in Russia and Ukraine are affordable compared to colleges in India. Ukrainian and Russian medical schools are even recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). The degrees are quite valid in India as the Medical Council of India (MCI) also recognizes them. These medical degrees are also recognized worldwide; especially the European Medical Council, other global bodies and the General Medical Council of the UK help these students with new opportunities. Ukraine ranks fourth in Europe for having the highest number of graduate and non-graduate specializations in the field of medicine. Another reason why Indian students choose Ukraine or Russia is that there are no entrance exams for admission.

Affordable food, accommodation

The duration of the MBBS course in Russia and Ukraine is six years; the weather is cold; education is based on the European model; and since English is the medium of instruction, students find it easier because they don’t have to worry about learning a foreign language, which they would have to if they were in another country. Significantly, education is cheaper than in India, hostels are better, food is more affordable, the environment is hygienic, and students can avail education loans from national banks. In addition to all these benefits, there is a vertical module teaching system and students benefit from clinical exposure and hands-on practice with modern medical equipment.

License to practice in India

After returning to India, these students have to pass their Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) to get a license to practice medicine in India as Indian medical graduates and historically their pass rate has been quite high. After passing this exam, students can work in state and central government or compete for UPSC and MPSC competitions or take advantage of medical and non-medical opportunities in government as officers.

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