Russia-Ukraine crisis: Returned students in Catch-22 situation

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The war is not over yet, but the frightening uncertainties that come in the wake of such violent conflicts have already started haunting students who managed to escape Putin’s bombs. While they have safely returned home from Ukraine, several Indian students are now in a Catch-22 situation. With academics already disrupted due to the war, these students are now staring at an uncertain future as their certificates are with the respective universities.

“Given the situation, I don’t think I can return to the university. But I will try to get my certificates. For each semester, I paid Rs 1.85 lakh as fee. Now, I am planning to opt for a BSc Agriculture course in the State,” said Polla Vishnu Vardhan Rao, a third-year medical student of Vinnytsia National Pirogov Medical University, Ukraine, who returned home earlier this week.

Some students are willing to go back to complete their course and become doctors and engineers provided the situation becomes conducive. “I am willing to go back to my university and complete the course. However, my parents have to allow me,” said Nisha Rani, a student of the same university as Vishnu Vardhan Rao.

According to overseas education consultants, Ukrainian universities might start online classes for students once the situation comes under control. However, such a move might not be helpful for medical courses which mandate practical study. “During the Covid pandemic, classroom teaching shifted to online classes. So, the same online classes will be followed by universities in Ukraine,” said Dr Raj of NEO MBBS, a city-based overseas education consultancy.

He said the European Credit Transfer System could come in handy for universities and students who wish to transfer to a different university within Ukraine and other universities in the European Union. “As the credit system is the same across all universities in the Europe Union, the universities can transfer their students to universities within the Europe Union. Students can also seek such credit transfer,” he added.

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