A holistic, long term approach to veterinary education is needed to ensure that the workforce remains resilient and can meet future demand in the areas of animal health and welfare and public health says the British Veterinary Association.
In its new position on UK Undergraduate Veterinary Education, launched today (23 September), BVA recognises that the professional landscape is ’in flux’ and sets out 50 recommendations to build on and support the UK’s leading reputation for veterinary education and to help produce a well-respected, inclusive and ‘future-proof’ workforce.
The economic reality of veterinary education is that student tuition fees and government funding do not meet the costs of training vets. Due to the wide range of clinical and professional skills that graduates need to be equipped with, it is estimated that the cost of delivering the veterinary undergraduate degree is well in excess of £20,000 per student, per year of study.
In addition, the number of places for veterinary students is not capped, and Government funding for veterinary education is not calculated per capita. This means that funding does not automatically increase if a new vet school is created or if the intake of students at existing UK schools increases.
To maintain high standards, BVA is calling for additional government funding for veterinary education by increasing the unit of resource per student, and emphasises that any efforts to increase the number of vet students must be supported by additional government funding.