Council warns Indian students against pursuing MBBS in China


The National Medical Commission of India has warned Indian students to do proper checks before choosing to pursue medical studies in China under COVID-19 travel restrictions. In an official notice dated February 8, 2022, the commission said some Chinese universities have started issuing MBBS admission notices for current and upcoming academic years.

Currently, international students including those from India have not been able to return to China due to the strict travel restrictions and learned online. The council, which regulates medical education and healthcare professionals in India, said it does not recognize or endorse fully online medical courses.

“In addition, the Chinese authorities indicated earlier that the courses would be held online. In accordance with the current rule, the National Medical Commission does not approve medical courses conducted solely in an online medium,” the notice reads.

Indian students have been advised to refer to FMGE regulations before applying or seeking admission to any institution in China or overseas institutions. “In light of the above, students are advised to exercise due diligence in choosing where to pursue their medical education,” the letter adds.

The council, which regulates medical education and healthcare professionals in India, said it does not recognize or endorse medical courses taken online. Source: Manpreet Romana/AFP

Medical training for Indian students halted

According to the notice, China has suspended all visas since November 2020. Students who returned to their respective countries during the winter break were caught off guard when China closed its border to almost all foreigners from of March 2020. Chinese universities announced that the term would continue online, leaving many without their laptops, books, and other essential materials to continue their studies.

Not all students have made the transition to online learning well, with some students lamenting the poor quality of online teaching. Students – including medical students – whose courses require students to complete clinical or practical components to graduate, worry miss these experiences.

An Indian medical student who only wanted to be identified as Meera previously told Study International that she had seen classmates or other international students locked out of China struggling with jet lag and a poor internet connection. Online learning has not been a good substitute for medical students who need clinical skills to practice in the future.

“Being in such a program where we have to treat patients, we need hands-on sessions and hands-on experience,” Meera said. “We missed all those precious years and experiences.”

China would consider a “coordinated” arrangement for the return of foreign students. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday, “I can tell you that the Chinese government attaches great importance to the issue of foreign students returning to China for their studies.

“We are thinking in a coordinated way about the mechanism allowing foreign students to return to China for their studies. We stand ready to actively work for a healthy, safe and orderly cross-border flow of people based on strong anti-epidemic protocols. Zhao did not specify a clear timetable for the return of Indian students.

Indian students organize a Twitter campaign on February 13, 2022 to facilitate their return to China.

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