The recent arrest, expulsion, and deportation of Indian students studying in medical colleges in China for drug abuse has raised dual concerns about the quality of campus life here and the lack of information available to foreign students about Chinese law.
It also puts the focus on the soft underbelly of Chinese medical colleges where a nexus of interests between a few India-based agents and some university officials have misled students, promising them top facilities but delivering less.
The agents often become incommunicado after extracting lakhs from the families and a commission from the college, leaving students confused and stranded in a foreign country with no grasp of the local language and without family or peer back-up.
It becomes more difficult for “first generational learners” who have moved to China from smaller cities in India and find themselves in a world that is entirely foreign in terms of lifestyle, language, culture and even teaching methodology in colleges.
Several cases of depression, in fact, have been reported among Indian students who have not been able to adjust to life in China.
More than 21,000 Indian students are studying MBBS across 100 Chinese universities. And the number is increasing.
On average, at least 3000 to 3500 Indian students annually enroll at medical colleges, attracted by less rigorous admission procedures and cheaper tuition fees.
The facilities at some Chinese colleges are also said to be better than Indian universities.
Involvement in drug-related cases, however, is becoming the big worry for families as it attracts strict penalties from authorities here; the numbers aren’t big but the trend is worrying.
A few Indian students were recently deported for using drugs in one university; in another case, passports of a few more were seized by the police and they were expelled from the college.
On May, 15 foreign students were arrested on drug-related charges at the Dalian Medical University; three were Indian.