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How low cost and easier admission criteria lure Indian medical aspirants to Ukraine

A six-year MBBS course costs between Rs 32 lakh and Rs 35 lakh, including tuition fees, food and accommodation

Sanjay Mandal, Monalisa Chaudhuri | Published 01.03.22, 08:01 AM
Representational image.

Representational image.


Arka Samaddar is a first-year MBBS student at  Zaporizhzhia State Medical University in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine. On Monday morning (Kolkata time), Arka was on a bus with other students on their way to Ukraine's border with Romania, which he hoped to cross and return home to Nadia.

There are thousands like Arka who have gone from Bengal and other parts of India to Ukraine to pursue medical courses. According to Ukraine’s ministry of education and science, 18,000 Indian medical students are studying there. While some have returned home, many are still stuck in the country that has been invaded by Russia.


Students, as well as agencies that help them get admission to around 25 medical colleges in Ukraine, said lower cost and easier admission criteria were among the reasons why medical courses in the east European country were much in demand in India.

Among other popular destinations are Russia, China and Bangladesh.

Low cost

Students and agencies said MBBS courses in private medical colleges in India cost three to four times the ones in Ukraine.

“A six-year MBBS course in Ukraine costs between Rs 32 lakh and Rs 35 lakh and it includes tuition fees, food and accommodation. Compared to this, a student has to pay more than Rs 1 crore in just tuition fees in most private medical colleges in India,” said Poulomi Mullick, CEO of Infinity, a Kolkata-based education consulting agency.

The agency has helped 24 students from India get admission to MBBS courses in Ukraine.

Surajit Bose, 20, a second-year MBBS student at Zaporizhzhia State Medical University, returned home to Behala on February 25. He had enrolled at the university last year.

“After qualifying NEET, I tried to get admission in private medical colleges in India. Everywhere the cost of admission was at least Rs 1.5 crore. I am from a middle-class family. We could not raise the money,” Surajit said.

At the Ukrainian university, he has to pay Rs 25 lakh for the six-year course.

Dipak Paik, father of Ananya Paik, a second-year student at Kyiv National Medical University, said they had spent more than Rs 10.7 lakh in the first year and Rs 6 lakh in the second.


Officials in government medical colleges in Kolkata cited a demand-supply mismatch in India. “India has 605 medical colleges and around 90,000 MBBS seats. Every year around 16 lakh students write the admission test and around 8 lakh qualify,” said an official.

The mismatch makes many students approach them for finding opportunities to study abroad, said Mullick of Infinity. “Many of them tell us it is their dream to become a doctor and they would like to pursue a medical course even in another country,” she said.

Feel of home

Students said a reason why they choose countries like Ukraine is the presence of many Indian students there. “There are around 1,600 Indian students in our university. We feel at home there,” said Surajit.

The hitch

Indian students pursuing medical courses in Ukraine have to crack a test in India if they want to practise here.  Till this year, the National Medical Council conducted the Foreign Medical Graduates Examinations.

Officials said the success rate is as low as 16 per cent. The council is set to replace the test with the National Exit Test, which medical graduates from abroad can take after a 12-month internship at their respective institutions.

Last updated on 12.03.22, 02:39 PM

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