Study Abroad: Samarkand University sees rise in India MBBS students as war closes Ukraine door

Samarkand Medical University in Uzbekistan used to receive around 100 to 150 Indian students till 2021. The number surged to 3,000 in 2023.

The Samarkand University has accommodated over 1,000 Indian students who were enrolled in Ukrainian institutions. (Image: Pexels)The Samarkand University has accommodated over 1,000 Indian students who were enrolled in Ukrainian institutions. (Image: Pexels)

Press Trust of India | December 10, 2023 | 03:29 PM IST

SAMARKAND: With the war closing Ukraine's door for MBBS aspirants from India, 93-year-old State Samarkand Medical University in Uzbekistan is seeing an exponential rise in the number of Indian students. Till 2021, the public university used to receive around 100 to 150 Indian students and the number has gone up to 3,000 in 2023.

The university has also accommodated over 1,000 Indian students who were earlier enrolled in various universities in Ukraine and had to leave their courses midway. “The number of Indian students has risen exponentially and we are also making adequate arrangements to ensure the trend continues and the students do not have to face any discomfort," Dr Zafar Aminov, vice-chancellor, State Samarkand Medical University told PTI.

"We have hired over 40 teachers from India this year. Our teaching and learning in English only but we wanted to ensure that students do not find it difficult to deal with any difference in accent,” Aminov said. “This way, the teachers are culturally close to the students, and those teachers help us manage the students much better,” he added.

While Ukraine was a popular destination among Indian students who wanted to move abroad for medical studies, the ongoing war has left that door closed and the aspirants are exploring new options. The consultants began to work aggressively with the public university after it offered to accommodate Indian students who were pursuing their MBBS from Ukraine and had to be rescued when the war broke out.

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Even though the duration of MBBS is six years in Uzbekistan, unlike five and a half years in India, teaching and learning in English, a peaceful atmosphere, affordable fees and practical exposure are the reasons that attract students to the new destination. "Samarkand is a hidden gem of Central Asia. Earlier, students were going to different countries, and after the war, students came to know about Uzbekistan. There are a few very important things here which are good for students. It is very secure for Indian girls and students,” said Sunil Sharma, Director MD House, a consultancy firm. Sharma is an official admission partner at the university.

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