Indian “glocal” students go to China to study medicine

China continues to gain traction as a destinations for many Indian students aiming to pursue a degree in medicine. This is a prime example of Glocal students–global aspiration, local education. Glocals are characterized by aspirations that usually outstrip both their ability to afford a full fee-paying overseas education and their academic merit to gain admission to an overseas institution with financial aid. Here is the full article on glocals.

Why are Indian students interested in China?
Apart from China’s attractiveness for lower cost of education and admissions standards, there is serious capacity constraint in India and competition for admission in medical colleges in India is intense to say the least.

An article aimed at attracting Indian medical students to China posted on China Education and Research Network (CERNET) by China’s University And College Admission System (CUCAS) states:

“Are you an Indian student wandering how to become a doctor? Scared by the high admission requirement and expensive tuition fee? Why not take a glance at the MBBS programs in China universities? The lower admission requirement, relatively lower tuition fee, and internationally recognized degree have attracted thousands of Indian students to China.”

CUCAS offers very detailed information related to medical degree with specific focus on Indian students including article like  “Top 10 Reasons to Study MBBS in China” and “Cost Comparison of Studying MBBS in US, UK, China, India and Pakistan”

There are also issues of quality of programs and recognition of medical degree from China in India. To this end, Indian Embassy also posted guidelines for Indian students interested in studying in China. Among their factors to consider they even added “Because of incorrect information received from agents or other sources, it has been seen that many students come to China without the required financial resources or support….Students are exploited by some agents in India who present a false picture of what life is like in China and by unscrupulous educational institutions.”

In addition, Medical Council of India (MCI) and Chinese government has worked to facilitate information dissemination to prospective Indian students. Currently, only 50 Chinese medical institutions are approved to accept international students for English medium instruction programs. The approved annual intake of international students in Chinese medical institutions increased from 2,095 to 5,030 in five years from 2007-08 to 2012-13 indicating a clear increase in demand.

Here is a video clip from CNN-IBN “Made in China” Indian doctors.


Dr. Rahul Choudaha

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