In another setback for medical students pursuing their degrees in Ukrainian universities, Dnipro State Medical Academy has cancelled the temporary residency permit of more than 350 Indian students over late payment of fees, documents show.
The medical institution, which is situated in Dnipro in the eastern part of Ukraine, had set a deadline for the payment of fees on September 29, 2022, after which they made a list of students who either didn’t pay the required amount or whose payment the University didn’t receive. The list included Indian and international students studying at Dnipro Academy.
Some students claim that they paid the fees on time but it was not received by universities due to issues out of their control.
“We know many students who have paid the fees on time but problems with SWIFT payments owing to the war in Ukraine have possibly led to Dnipro academy not receiving them on the mandated deadline,” stated Keyur Karetiya, an MBBS student who had to return to India because of the cancellation of his residency permit.
Alternative routes come in handy
The war between Russia and Ukraine led to more than 20,000 Indian students leaving the latter between February and April but many have tried to return to the war-torn country for the completion of their degrees as National Medical Commission (NMC), the Indian regulatory body which oversees medical education and professionals, has allowed online classes only for theory and not for practicals or clinical training for students in countries such as Ukraine and China. Countries such as Hungary, Moldova, and Poland have become alternative routes for Indian students to reach Ukraine but Dnipro Academy’s rules proved to be costly for those taking that chance.
“After the University asked us to leave, we left Ukraine through the Hungarian border from where we travelled to Budapest and boarded a flight back to India. We had to leave as soon as our residency permits got cancelled otherwise we would have had to pay a fine,” said Shubham Kushvah, who claims that he paid his fees on September 28 which reached the university on October 4.
Students set to renew their permits
Many students from Dnipro Academy, who got their permits cancelled, remain in India and now have to make their journey to Delhi for renewal of the same.
“I will go to Delhi for the renewal of my permit in 10-15 days after which I will decide on taking a flight to Ukraine depending on cheaper flights,” said Karetiya, who has been reinstated to the University though his residency permit is key to entering the East European country again.
The situation is also unique to Dnipro Academy since students from other medical institutions have stated that they have not come across such a rule. Students told the Free Press Journal that any action on late payment of fees is initiated after 6 months from the set deadline.
Indian Embassy releases second advisory in a week
The university’s decision also comes amid the Indian Embassy’s second advisory, in a week, which asked its citizens to “leave Ukraine by all available means”.
“In continuation of the advisory issued by the embassy on October 19, 2022, all Indian citizens in Ukraine are advised to immediately leave Ukraine by available means. Some Indian nationals have already left Ukraine pursuant to an earlier advisory. They may contact the embassy at the following numbers for any guidance or assistance if required to travel to the border: +380933559958, +380635917881, +380678745945. They may refer to the embassy website for avoidable options for border crossing,” said the advisory by the Indian Embassy in Kyiv, which earlier cautioned Indian nationals about the deteriorating security situation in Ukraine.
Students contradict the advisories
Students say that such advisories are not based on ground reality and have instead asked the Embassy to help them out.
“We asked the Embassy to help us out but they maintained that these are rules mandated by the University. Since we are already in the country, they should have helped us out instead of releasing advisory after advisory,” stated a medical student from Dnipro, who didn’t wish to be named.
Videos and images have gone viral in recent days showing drones flying directly over urban infrastructure in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, while Russia has accused Ukraine of drone strikes on its black sea fleet in Crimea.
Students say though there are fewer people out on the street in Dnipro, which has been at the receiving end of missile strikes resulting in civilian deaths, the situation is relatively safe.
“We were living in a hostel and the situation was comparatively safer than earlier but the number of people out on the street is less at all times,” said Karetiya.