Indian Medical Students Enrolled in Chinese Universities Demand Recognition of Practical Training

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Indian students pursuing Bachelor’s studies in Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) at universities in China have organized a protest on Saturday, outside the secretariat in Kerala, India.

These students who remained outside China for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic as China closed its international borders and the Chinese authorities did not issue them visas have demanded recognition of their practical training in India.

The Foreign Medical Graduates Parents Association (FMGPA), an association of parents of medical students studying abroad, was the protest organizer.

The President of the Association, Subair MC, was quoted saying that students are demanding state authorization and the national government to accept their education as valid; however, India’s National Medical Commission has rejected the demand, saying that it does not approve medical courses completed fully online.

“We were forced to come back from China in January 2020. It’s been two years since we have been attending online classes. We don’t have any recognition of whether the Indian government will accept us with these online classes. Most of us are doing practical at various government and private hospitals in Kerala, but it is not recognised,” a fourth-year medical student at Yangzhou University, Murshid Aleen, told ANI News.

China continues to keep its borders closed to most of the international students, according to Global Admissions, a website providing information to students about travel restrictions in different study destinations worldwide and helping the latter with the study decision-making process. According to the website, the country has made some exceptions only for some students, including:  

  • Students from South Korea
  • Students studying at New York University Shanghai
  • Tianjin Juilliard students
  • Some Schwarzman Scholarship students
  • 30 Nicaraguan scholarship holders

Recently, in a press conference, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that a small number of international students with “actual needs“ remaining in their home country might be allowed to enter. The latter will be required to comply with China’s epidemic prevention rules.

“On the basis of ensuring safety, it is coordinating arrangements for a small number of foreign students with actual needs to return to China in light of the changing international epidemic situation and the characteristics of the students’ majors,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman told media in Beijing.

Similar to other students whose studies abroad have been affected due to the pandemic, Indian students also united in social media with hashtags #TakeUsBackToChina and #GOIHelpIndianStudentsOfChina and more, requiring help for their situation.

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