Scotland set for first new vet school in 150 years - Veterinary Practice
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Scotland set for first new vet school in 150 years

New vet school would widen access and address existing shortage areas in veterinary practice

Scotland could be home to a new school of
veterinary medicine for the first time in more than 150 years.

The plans were announced on Friday 28
May by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), which will offer courses in veterinary
medicine ranging from Higher National Diploma to postgraduate degree

Based in Aberdeen but with a footprint across
rural Scotland, it will be the first vet school based outside of Edinburgh or

SRUC, which has more animal and veterinary
scientists than almost any other institution in Europe, has a national network
of veterinary hubs and consulting offices, providing a solid basis for a
distributed model of learning.

Already the biggest provider of veterinary
nursing, livestock husbandry and animal care training in Scotland, SRUC will
offer a core veterinary programme to address existing shortages in veterinary
provision, in areas such as rural veterinary practice, food production, food
safety and animal and public health.

The school will aim to widen participation
using work-based teaching to align student recruitment and employability
in shortage areas, which are essential to support Scotland’s highly
prized rural and food sectors.

A working group will be established to
progress the plans for the school. The group will be chaired by Professor Sir
Pete Downes, former Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee.

Sir Pete will be joined by Sheila Voas, Chief
Veterinary Officer for Scotland, former NFUS President Nigel Miller, SRUC Board
member Jane Craigie, and Dr Kate Richards, who is a non-executive director on
the SAC Commercial Board and currently the junior vice president of the RCVS,
in line to become President in July.

Professor Caroline Argo, currently Dean of
SRUC’s North Faculty, will lead the project for SRUC. Other members will be
announced in due course.

A report from BiGGAR Economics has found that
the vet school could add £26 million GVA and 242 jobs to Scotland by

Professor Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief
Executive of SRUC, said: “We are an ambitious institution with a bold vision
for the future. This is a ground-breaking model to expand access to educational
opportunities and broaden the range of potential students who would not
ordinarily be able to attend a vet school. It will also help solve existing
skills shortages across Scotland.

“We see a key role of the new vet school in
sustaining primary agriculture and hence food and drink productivity, with the
welfare of both livestock and companion animals at its heart. The school will
produce champions for best-in-class animal welfare in support of these
industries, which will help improve productivity, effectiveness, and sustainability.

“Building on the excellent new facilities we
have already announced for Aberdeen and Inverness, there is a lot of work still
to be done, but we are ready to seize the opportunity.”

Linda Prescott-Clements, Director of
Education at the RCVS, said: “The RCVS
looks forward to working with the team at SRUC as it moves towards meeting our
accreditation standards, so that its future graduates can join the UK
veterinary profession.”

Veterinary Practice

Veterinary Practice is an online knowledge and information hub for veterinary professionals across all specialties. It provides reliable, useful and interesting content, written by expert authors and covering small animal, large animal, equine and practice management sectors of the veterinary surgeon and nursing professions.

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