The All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has urged its affiliated universities and institutions to help students, who have returned from war-hit Ukraine, in pursuing higher education.

In a letter, the technical education controller asked vice-chancellors and directors on Monday to consider admitting such students to the vacant seats.

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Nearly 20,000 students have returned to India from Ukraine. It is reported that a majority of them were enrolled in medical courses. Some were also pursuing technical and engineering courses.

Uncertainty remains over their return to Ukraine amid the war even as many of them have resumed their classes virtually.

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“All these students are in deep desperation as their educational future is uncertain in the war-torn country. The matter was raised in the parliament and it was recommended that the GOI [government of India] would facilitate all educational possibilities for all those who want to continue their education in India as it concerns the future of thousands of Indians which should not be neglected,” the AICTE said.

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“Admit them at appropriate levels so that the students who have come back from Ukraine may continue their studies in India.”

Meanwhile, a 22-year-old student from Haryana pursuing electrical engineering in Ukraine said, “If Indian institutes can give us direct entry to third or fourth year, it will be really good for us. We would not have to go back putting our lives at risk to complete our education.”

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Earlier, external affairs minister S Jaishankar told Lok Sabha that India is in touch with Ukraine’s neighbouring countries Hungary, Romania, Kazakhstan, and Poland to help the evacuated medical students to pursue their studies.