Home / Education / News /  Future of Indian students coming back from Ukraine looks bleak


Aman Mishra is waiting for his sister Mansi Mishra, a second-year medical student at V N Karazin Kharkiv National Medical University to return home. “Her two years are done but now we just want her back. There is no clarity about what will happen to her medical college classes," said Aman. As of Monday morning, she was stuck in Kharkiv while her family was in Gorakhpur.

The fog of war surrounds the future of thousands of students stuck in the Ukranian borders and those who have just returned home. Predominantly medical students, many have just a couple of years of their 6-year course left, but now their future looks as bleak as war-torn Ukraine.

“Historically, educational institutes survive armed conflicts, and we sincerely hope and pray that the universities resume once the political situation is resolved and things calm down in the next 4-5 months," said Tarun Aggarwal, chief business officer, CollegeDekho, a college admissions and education services platform. “However, given the current politically fluid situation, it is very difficult to ascertain when educational institutions will re-open."

Uzaif Rabbani, a fourth-year medical student in Kharkiv has been living in a bunker for the last few days and comes to his apartment when the curfew is lifted. “I have two years left and once I get evacuated, I will have to think of what happens to my degree," he said.

The advisory from the Indian Embassy in Kviv on Monday advised Indians “to make their way to the railway station for their onward journey to the western parts. Ukraine Railways is putting special trains for evacuations." It asked all Indian nationals to remain “patient, composed and specially not to exhibit aggressive behaviours at the railway stations". Evacuation flights are also on but what awaits on the education front remains unanswered. “Our teachers left, we were alone in hostels," said a first-year medical student who is trying to head for the Polish borders.

According to the university admission platform LeverageEdu, there are 19,000 Indian students in Ukraine. Indians make up for the largest number of international students followed by those from Morocco and Turkmenistan. They largely study degrees in medicine, nursing and engineering. The courses in Ukraine are far cheaper than a private college in India, according to LeverageEdu. Tuition fees for an MBBS degree in Ukraine is 15-20 lakh compared to 80 lakh-1 crore in India.

Career counselling firms said students pursuing degrees in Russia too face an uncertain future. “One has to see how many countries will accept Russian degrees, the Russian Ruble has plunged and the country’s economic conditions will also get factored by those students," said Ankit Maggu, co-founder of edtech platform Geekster.

“We will write to the Central government if the students can pursue their remaining degree from Indian colleges, if they pass a set of criteria," said Anubha Shrivastava Sahai, a child rights activist.

Devina Sengupta
Devina Sengupta reports on the shifts in India Inc’s workplaces, HR policies and writes about the developments at India’s biggest conglomerates. Her stories over the last decade have been picked up and followed by Indian and international news outlets. She joined Mint in 2022 and previously worked with The Economic Times and DNA-Money.
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