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FAQ’s for Indian students wishing to pursue medical education in the Philippines.

FAQ's for Indian students wishing to pursue medical education in the Philippines.
Philippines continues to be an attractive destination for Indian students wishing to pursue medical education. However, before getting admission to a medical college, a few pointers in the form of FAQ's listed below would be useful for Indian students. Kindly note that the FAQ's are purely advisory and students are advised to exercise due diligence by checking the latest updates/rule position from Commission of Higher Education. ( CHED )

How do I know which are the recognised medical colleges to apply in the Philippines?
The Commission of Higher Education ( CHED), which is the nodal agencylooking after higher education, publishes the list of medical collegesrecognised by them, both state run and private. The list is available in ourwebsite under Education icon ( student advisory and list of colleges) Out of the recognised medical colleges, one of the college SWU-MHAM recently split with SWU owing to differences in management and isembroiled in a judicial dispute. ( SWU Advisory ). Tillthe issue is resolved between them, it is advisable not to seek admission inthe said college.

Do I rely on educational consultants/agents who are advertising for themedical course in India?
Kindly note that a majority of complaints from Indian students pursuingBS/Medicine received by the Embassy relate to the dubious role played bysuch agents. The problem is further compounded as the agents delegate orengage subagents in recruiting students. Most of the complaints relate tothe mismatch between what has been promised in India and what they actuallyget in the Philippines. These include false promises being made to thestudents, giving an inaccurate picture of the medical system in thePhilippines, overcharging, withholding information on fee structure,duration of course, visas etc. As mentioned in our Advisory ( Student Advisory ) in the website, it is advisable that students engagethe colleges directly by email as most of the colleges have a website inEnglish and with English as the main language for communication, aprospective student should not have problems in ascertaining the rightinformation.

Can I be admitted to the medical course after I complete my 10+2 in India?
Kindly note that all students who pass out 12th grade from India have toenrol for BS course which runs for about three semesters ( about one andhalf years to two years-depending upon how you attain the credits) beforethey are eligible to take the NMAT test and enrol for MD course. The BScourse is basically a degree course mandatory for getting admission to MDcourse. Only once you undergo the BS course and get through the NMAT exam,you are admitted to the MD course ( MBBS). This is an important point as theeducational agents in India often do not give a full picture to the studentswho are made to believe that they are going to get admitted to a medicalcourse directly. Kindly note that undergoing BS course and getting acompetitive score in NMAT exam is a pre-condition for medical course. Weunderstand that a minimum 40 percentile in NMAT is the passing score butlargely depends upon different colleges to prescribe the score which may behigher than 40%. We also understand from students here that NMAT is a toughcompetitive exam. Another important point not clarified to prospectivestudents in India is that as per extant rules in the Philippines, there is aquota fixed for seats for foreign students which is one third of theenrolment. Generally Universities have different departments like medicine,engineering, arts course etc and while the Universities may satisfy thebenchmark of one third foreign students as a whole, it needs to be checkedwhether the medical college by itself has the necessary infrastructure orthe faculty to take more students. As of now, our feedback from students isthat the colleges ( mostly private colleges) in partnership with theeducational agents enrol more students in the BS course, sometimes in excessof four to five times over their capacity in the medical college. In otherwords, if a college has a capacity of inducting 200 seats for foreignstudents, they enrol roughly about 800 students in the BS course. How theywill accommodate the extra students when they do not have the capacity interms of infrastructure/faculty is a grey area and therefore students areexpected to cross check this aspect thoroughly on whether the college hasthe required capacity in terms of infrastructure/faculty and that theiradmission to BS course will ultimately lead to an assured admission in themedical course. NMAT exams are conducted twice a year.Some colleges alsoprescribe a shorter BS course ( two semester or one year). This needs to becarefully checked if it is in consonance with CHED guidelines.

Why do I need to do a BS course before joining the MD course?
In Philippines the present education system for their nationals is 10 + 4where the school education finishes after ten followed by a BS course forfour years which is a degree course. After completion of 14 years they areadmitted to MD course if he/she wishes to pursue medicine. An Indian studentwho has studied in India under 10+2 system therefore needs to do the BScourse before enrolling for MD. However, some additional credits for the BScourse are given for +2 which the Indian student has done and the remaining credits of the BS course have to be obtained during the three semesters before he is granted a BS degree. Thereafter he is eligible for MD course.In short an Indian student does a BS + MD course of 1.5-2 yrs approx and 4years respectively. The system is expected to ease out in the coming yearsas Philippines is also switching over to 10+2 system.

What are the websites which I should check before getting consideringadmission in the Philippines?
The websites of Indian Embassy is a must. ( Embassy website ) Other websites which need to be checked is the Medical Council ofIndia website especially on the screening regulations for Indian national shaving foreign medical degrees ( MCI screening test regulations) The MCI site also mentions about aneligibility certificate before embarking for studies abroad (  MCI Eligiblity Test) . TheCommission of Higher Education (CHED) website should also be seen as theyare the governing body regulating Higher Education in the Philippines.

Are the medical institutions in the Philippines recognised by MCI?
Kindly note that medical institutions in the Philippines are recognised bytheir own nodal agency which is CHED. With regards to MCI, the screeningregulations mention the procedure for students who have pursued medicaldegrees abroad.

I heard there are visa issues being faced by Indian studentsin the Philippines.

This is one more point generally not disclosed fully bythe educational agents. Generally prospective Indian students should proceed to the Philippines on a Student visa which is granted by the PhilippineEmbassy in India. However due to easier accessibility, most students preferto come on a tourist visa and then convert their visa into student visa inthe Philippines which is generally the responsibility of the collegeconcerned. The procedure for converting visa is time consuming and takesabout 2 months as it is centralised in Manila. We have received complaintsfrom students that educational agents sometimes retain the passport andcharge exorbitant fees for immigration procedure from the students.

What points should I look out for while browsing the medical school website?
Generally all medical schools have their own Director for foreign students.It would be useful to engage him/her on email. The admission process, feestructure, faculty, duration of BS course, their quota for MD seats, visaissues, payment of fees directly to the Institute by bank transfer, hostel and mess facilities, law & order, banking facilities etc should be queriedto your satisfaction.

I heard that some of the colleges have educationalagents through which applications for admission is accepted.?
Prospective students should be careful in choosing educational agents and try to getadmission directly wherever possible. If he, however, chooses to risk byengaging an educational agent, he should atleast take care that the agent'srole is limited in completion of formalities in India viz visa, ticketing etc and initial facilitation for getting admitted to college. Here, thestudent should take care that fees are directly remitted to the concernedmedical college and in no case handed over to the agent. There have been complaints from Indian students here that they have handed over the entiremoney for the course to the agent who did not subsequently deposit it withthe college. In other words, if a student does engage an agent, he shouldsee that the agent's role is limited in only facilitating initial admissionand he does not have any further role after admission in the fee structure or visa related issues.

What are the formalities I should do after I complete my medical degree?
After you complete your degree, the first thing is to authenticate theeducational documents through your college, CHED, Consular wing of Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines (http://dfa.gov.ph/index.php/site-administrator/authentication-information) The authentication process is called the "Red Ribbon' process. After thisprocedure is complete, the certificates have to be presented in original tothe Indian Embassy for further counter attestation.Once you arrive in India,copies of documents are submitted to state MCI's who subsequently send it tothe Embassy again by post for re-verification.

How can social media help you?
Students studying in the Philippines are encouraged to use Social Media toshare your experiences and our Embassy face book (www.facebook.com/IndiaInPhilippines) can be a forum which will beuseful for prospective students seeking admission in the Philippines.Alternatively, Indian students in the Philippines can create a Facebookaccount to address the concerns of Indian students by posting useful blogson their experiences. Students are encouraged to have a healthy interactionwith the Embassy by participating in Embassy functions and contribute inpresenting India's image abroad.

 

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