Indian Embassy in Beijing issues advisory highlighting challenges for students seeking medical degree from China

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Embassy of India in Beijing has issued detailed advisory highlighting various challenges for prospective students seeking medical degree from China. The clarifying advisory was issued on Friday in response to several queries from prospective Indian students and their parents with respect to seeking admission for undergraduate clinical medicine programme in China.

It clarified their queries about issues related to the quality of clinical medicine undergraduate programme in China, mandatory learning of Mandarin, poor pass percentage of Indian students passed out from Chinese medical colleges in FMGE, and the issues related to ‘Dynamic Zero Covid Policy’ of China which is making travel to China very difficult. More than 20000 Indian students mostly enrolled in medical courses in Chinese universities are waiting to return to China for more than 2.5 years due to COVID related restrictions and a ban on direct flights to and from India. China has now started giving visas but due to non-availability of direct flights, it is very costly affair to travel to China through transit route.

The advisory said that prospective Indian students who wish to seek admission for undergraduate clinical medicine programme in China are required to obtain a license to practice medicine in China before they appear for the Foreign Medical Graduates Exam (FMGE) in India. It further said that such prospective Indian students are also required to clear the NEET-UG (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Under Graduate) exam, which is the entry examination for undergraduate medical education in India, as a prerequisite to pursue medical education abroad. Only such students – after completing their degree program – can appear in FMGE which is required to pursue clinical medical practice in India.

 

Embassy advisory also shared the list of 45 Universities in China that are authorized to give admission to foreign students to undertake clinic medicine under-graduate degree course (in English language) in China for the year 2019. Indian students are advised not to seek admission in universities, other than the 45 listed by Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, as they may face problem in getting the license to practice in China, thereby making them ineligible to appear for FMG Examination at a later stage.

 

It said that Students who are planning to enroll in any Chinese university for clinical medicine undergraduate programme are advised to ascertain themselves whether the university is in the list of 45 approved universities by Chinese government, the duration of the course (as it varies university to university), curriculum being offered, language of instructions, mode of education (online or offline), fee structure, visa requirements etc., before proceeding to China. The advisory also alerted the students about the ‘Dynamic Zero Covid Policy’ of China due to which there are various restrictions and quarantine norms in China, which varies from city to city and are very strict and demand full compliance without exception. “Moreover, these regulations are updated regularly. Therefore, Indian students enrolled in Chinese universities are advised to take note of the latest regulations of the place of travel and make appropriate arrangements,” it said.

The advisory quoted a regulations by National Medical Commission (NMC) dated November 18, 2021 state that any prospective student who seeks medical education abroad after November 18, 2021 should necessarily have license to practice in the country of graduate after completion of his/her clinical medicine programme, before he/she can appear for FMG examination in India.

 

Regarding the quality of the medical education in Chinese universities for foreign students, the embassy advisory mentioned about several feedback from the past students who have completed such programme earlier. One of the most common challenge is the English language skills of Chinese teachers in these universities, it said. Few students have also complained about lack of practical/clinical experience in terms of engaging with patients in certain universities.

The advisory said, Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China has clearly mentioned in their official communication that foreign students can only join medical programmes in 45 approved universities in English language. They cannot join for studying clinical medicine programme in China which is offered in Chinese language. Chinese authorities have also clearly stated that any university offering clinical medicine programme for foreign students in bilingual mode (English and Chinese language) is strictly forbidden.

As per regulations of the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, the courses are offered in English language. However, learning Chinese language is mandatory for clinical sessions. Hence, every student will also need to learn Chinese language up to HSK-4 level. The advisory said, any student who does not clear this minimum Chinese language skill will not be awarded degree. Prospective students are requested to check with the university concerned about this requirement beforehand as there are minor differences on the level of Chinese language skill requirement for different universities.

It advised prospective students and their parents to look at the study conducted by National Board of Examination of the pass percentage of students who had studied in various Chinese universities. The study shows that only 6387 out of 40417 students, who appeared in FMG Examination from 2015 to 2021 have cleared it. The pass percentage of Indian students who have studied clinical medicine programme in China in that period in the approved 45 universities was only 16%. The prospective students and parents may please note this fact while deciding on seeking admission in Chinese universities for clinical medicine programme, the advisory cautioned.

 

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