In a bid to retain foreign students, Ukrainian colleges are starting online classes and asking local governments to help them with practical work.
As the conflict between Ukraine and Russia continues unabated, Ukrainian medical colleges have launched online courses for foreign students who have had to flee the war-ravaged country. While colleges cite affected students’ education as the reason for starting online classes, educational advisers believe it’s their (colleges’) attempt to retain students.
Colleges in other countries have attracted these students with offers such as deep discounts, semester fee waivers, and credit transfers.
“Ukrainian colleges have realized that students are getting impatient due to the ongoing war and the uncertainty surrounding their future prospects,” said an academic advisor working for a Ukrainian college.
He added: ‘They are aware that offers are also circulating at colleges in other countries and if they do nothing to retain students, they could all choose to leave the courses halfway through.
VN Karazin Kharkiv National University issued a letter asking the governments of other countries to allow Ukrainian students to receive their practical training in private and public colleges.
According to reports, the university was completely destroyed by a Russian airstrike and the Ukrainian government is working to move it to a safer location.
The letter published by Andrii Polivantsev, Acting Director of the Institute of International Education for Study and Research and Anton Panteleimonov, Vice President for Research and Education of VN Karazin Kharkiv National University, states that the university has launched online courses for all international students in the spring semester of 2021-2022 but their students do not have the opportunity to participate in practical work due to the situation in Ukraine.
“We therefore request local government officials to allow all international students from Ukrainian universities to do practical work in local private and government hospitals based on students’ coursework in their country,” the letter reads.
He added: “The report on practical training in the homeland, drawn up on the form of a medical institution indicating the number of practical skills acquired, signed by a doctor, head of practice, will allow the university to enroll spring semester students. 2021-2022.
A similar request was made by the National Pirogov Memorial Medical University, Vinnytsya. “The Faculty of Training of Foreign Citizens informs that students have the full consent of the University to leave Ukraine and undergo practical training in hospitals and clinics that are not attached to the University and of their own choice “, a letter signed by Inna Andrushko, Higher Educational Institution, Vice-Rector for Scientific and Academic Works and International Liaisons, said.
He added, “We therefore request local government officials to grant all students access to continue their practical work in local public, private hospitals in accordance with the requirements of their respective courses in their own countries.”
Kyiv Medical University (KMU), which has also launched courses using digital technologies, highlights challenges in its communication to students. It states that the university’s website is temporarily unavailable due to hacking attacks and therefore they would be delivering the classes on the Google classroom.
“Please stay logged in in Google Classroom and follow all faculty member recommendations. Please keep in mind that most of your educators are now in Ukraine, so there may be unforeseen internet connection issues and faculty faculty may not respond to your questions as quickly as before,” the letter reads.
Ayush Jaiswal, a first-year student at Kharkiv National Medical University in Ukraine, said: “Our online classes started on March 21. Our program includes both theories and practical courses. The university can only teach the theoretical part. We look forward to our government arranging for our hands-on training at local private or public hospitals.