Entrance exam ruling hits foreign students in India

Future uncertain for medical undergraduates

October 18, 2016
Doctors in surgery

The future of hundreds of students enrolled at private medical colleges in India is in jeopardy after a court ruling on new legislation for admissions tests.

The Supreme Court recently decided that the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test, known as NEET, was a mandatory requirement for students admitted to private colleges or deemed universities, which are institutions accredited by the government’s Department of Higher Education.

But only Indian nationals or overseas citizens of India are able to take the exam.

Many foreign students travel to India to complete medical or dentistry degrees each year, either through a quota system specifically for overseas students or by directly applying to private colleges. Undergraduates who enrolled this year are now facing an uncertain future as they are not able to sit the entrance exam.

The Times of India has reported that institutions have allegedly asked foreign students to leave campuses.

Tilak Silva, the father of a Manipal University dentistry student from Colombo, Sri Lanka, said that his daughter had been asked to leave campus. "My daughter and other foreign students are suffering now only because there is this tricky NEET procedure…The career of our children has been jeopardised,” he said.

“We also appeal to the authorities and the Indian prime minister to allow some stop-gap arrangements for this 2016-17 batch so that their year is not wasted," he added.


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