The veterinary group VetPartners wants to remove the financial barrier that prevents many youngsters from pursuing a career as a vet due to the high cost of studying at university.
VetPartners will provide 15 bursaries a year, with each student receiving £1,500 a year for the full duration of their five years at vet school. Graduates will then be offered roles in VetPartners’ practices across the UK.
Anyone applying for a bursary must already have a university place and bursaries will be awarded to those whose household income falls below a certain amount.
VetPartners hopes the initiative will encourage greater diversity in the profession and make a real difference to students who otherwise would struggle to meet the cost of course fees, accommodation and living expenses, as well as EMS.
Announcing the bursaries, VetPartners CEO Jo Malone said: “We want to create opportunities for more people to go to vet school if that is their dream and not to have to worry about the financial burden.
“We know there are some people who simply can’t afford to go to university. We want to encourage people from more diverse backgrounds because that enriches the profession and ensures talented people are not missing out because of the high cost of studying.
“It’s hard enough to get into vet school but we risk losing out on fantastic vets if they can’t afford to go to university or enter the profession with 10s of thousands of pounds of debt. We need great communicators from different socio-economic backgrounds who want to develop thriving careers and not leave the profession.
“I think it is important for VetPartners, and all the larger veterinary groups, to ensure we make a positive contribution to the profession and leave a legacy that helps people to thrive.”
VetPartners has unveiled a five-year package of bursaries totalling more than £500,000, which will support 75 students over the period.
Applicants will need to provide a personal statement about their motives for studying veterinary medicine and how the bursary will help.
VetPartners Head of Talent Rob Williams, who is overseeing the allocation of bursaries, said: “We have put a support package together for people from backgrounds that are under-represented in the veterinary profession and we will target the most deserving students for support.
“This is one way VetPartners can support students from widening participation backgrounds, and hopefully enrich the profession because there is a perception that it is a white, middle-class profession.”
To apply for a bursary, go to the website.