Russia-Ukraine conflict poses uncertainty for future MBBS aspirants

As thousands of Indian students fled back home amid the war between Ukraine and Russia, questions arose about their future. While they are still figuring out their next step, others who hoped to study in Russia or Ukraine in the near future must now look for alternatives.

According to experts, with the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, the focus of Indian students who want to study medicine abroad is shifting to other countries, such as the UK, the Philippines, Nepal, Poland, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh and Malaysia.

Why abroad?

Experts believe that the reason why students choose to pursue their MBBS or higher degrees from other countries rather than India is simply due to the quality of education offered abroad at affordable tuition fees. “Students who are genuinely interested in becoming doctors find MBBS courses in certain countries abroad cheaper than in India,” Prateek Bhargava, Mindler’s founder and CEO, told

Yatharth Gulati, co-founder of Rostrum Education, supported this argument, adding: “Our experience is that most Indian students prefer Eastern European countries for medical courses as they are much more reasonable in terms of tuition and cost of They are also relatively much easier to get in.”

Another reason why Indian students go abroad is the “limited number of seats in India, essentially forcing many to look at other options,” Bharat Arvind, head of foreign education counseling services at Yocket, told

“With the level of competition in India, it is almost impossible for any aspiring medical student to find their place, and it is even more difficult for those students who are unable to achieve a higher score in the NEET. exam. Given the level of competition in India and the exposure that an international education can provide, studying medicine abroad has become a major trend in the last decade,” Bhargava added.

Every year, nearly 25,000 students go abroad to study medicine, and experts say that number has gradually increased in recent years. According to data shared by the Union Ministry of Health in Lok Sabha in December 2021, there are 88,120 Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) seats and 27,498 Bachelors of Dental Surgery (BDS) seats available in India even as more than 16 lakhs candidates registered for NEET exam last year. The huge gap is a clear indication of the trend of students choosing to go abroad to study MBBS, Bhargava explained.

Barbara Alexaundria Er, the head of marketing and student enrollment at Manipal University College in Malaysia, also noted that nearly 30 percent of MBBS intake is taken by Indian nationals.

Other options

One of the most sought after countries for a medical degree and residency abroad is the UK. The usual requirements are an overall band score of 7.0 in IELTS, with a high IB grade (40+) or at least an AAA in Cambridge A levels with Chemistry or Biology as compulsory subjects. In the case of CBSE, students must earn at least 50 percent in grade 12 with subjects such as physics, chemistry, and biology.

While the admission criteria for a medical course in the UK is undemanding, the high cost of living, travel and relatively higher tuition fees make it difficult for students hoping for affordable expenses. In such cases, countries like the Philippines, Bangladesh, Nepal, Poland, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia and others become a favorable choice, experts say. The admission criteria in these countries are not half as difficult as in India, which makes it even more convenient for Indian students to consider this option.

Experts say that students who want to go abroad to get medical training can look to countries like the Philippines, Bangladesh, Nepal, Poland, Kyrgyzstan and others, if they want to return to India and offer their expertise here. And those who want to settle abroad after completing their courses can choose European countries such as Germany, Spain or towards the UK, US, Malaysia, Canada, Singapore and Australia, she added.

However, those who want to go to the UK and other European countries should prepare as soon as possible according to the entry requirements to ensure that their admission is approved and that they can put their tuition fees to good use.

Sajal Jain
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