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Explained: Why is Ukraine so popular among Indian medical students

Explained: Why is Ukraine so popular among Indian medical students

By CNBCTV18.com Feb 28, 2022 5:19:44 PM IST (Published)

An MBBS degree from Ukraine is internationally accredited and valid in almost every country. Besides the quality of education, cheaper costs and easy admission make it a magnet for Indian students.

Air India’s fifth evacuation flight brought back 249 Indians from Bucharest after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began last week. Despite having evacuated 2,000 Indians from Ukraine, as per information from Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, about 14,000-16,000 Indians still remain in the country. Most of these are students from various states across India.

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Indians make up the largest demographic of foreign students in Ukraine -- around 18,000 out of the 76,000 in the East European country. Most of these students are pursuing MBBS and engineering courses. Morocco, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Nigeria, China, Turkey, Egypt, Israel and Uzbekistan are some of the other countries with a high number of students in Ukraine. 

But why is Ukraine such a popular destination among Indian medical students?

Standard of education

Ukraine has emerged as a large centre for foreign students due to a variety of factors. First of all, the country has a high standard of education and offers guaranteed quality. An MBBS degree from Ukraine is internationally accredited and valid in almost every country.

Secondly, Ukrainian education is relatively cheap. Unlike other European countries, higher education in Ukraine is relatively affordable for many Indian students and families. For medical students, Ukraine is even cheaper than India. With the best private Indian medical colleges charging in the range of Rs 15-20 lakh per annum for 5.5 years, Ukraine’s medical colleges charge $3,500-5000 (Rs 2.65-3.8 lakh) per year.

Some of the other factors for the popularity of Ukraine as an education destination include the fact that the courses are taught in English, the lack of any entrance test for admission to Ukrainian MBBS colleges, the presence of a large diaspora and associated cultural activities (food, amenities, etc). The cost of living is also affordable for Indians as the Ukrainian currency (the Ukrainian hryvnia) is not very strong when compared to the Indian rupee (1 hryvnia = Rs 2.5 when compared to $1 = Rs 75.47 or 1 euro = Rs 84.34).

All of these factors combined make Ukraine a prime destination for prospective medical students from India and several other foreign countries. But now these individuals face the risk of injury or even death as Russian forces tighten their stranglehold on Ukraine.

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