UCLan creates a prestigious Veterinary School - Veterinary Practice
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UCLan creates a prestigious Veterinary School

The University will join an elite list of universities after creating the UK’s 11th Vet School

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is joining an
elite list of UK universities by creating a prestigious Veterinary School in
Preston.

UCLan is opening the UK’s 11th Veterinary School, it will
also be the second in the North of England and first in Lancashire.

Based at UCLan’s Preston Campus, the new Veterinary School
will deliver foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate courses in areas such as
veterinary medicine, bioveterinary science, veterinary clinical practice,
veterinary physiotherapy and rehabilitation, and clinical animal behaviour and
training.

Professor Graham Baldwin, UCLan Vice-Chancellor, said:
“We’re absolutely delighted to be creating an innovative and dynamic Veterinary
School. UK veterinary schools are highly prestigious, so we are thrilled to be
launching only the second school in the north of England and one of only 11 in
the UK.

“We have taken massive strides in developing all areas of
human health provision in recent years, and animal health will now join our
ever-expanding portfolio of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, biomedical sciences
and optometry.”

Professor Cathy Jackson, Executive Dean of the Faculty of
Clinical and Biomedical Sciences, commented: “Our new Veterinary School will be
focussed on producing much needed industry ready graduates for our region,
particularly as recent figures have highlighted a national shortage of vets and
a sector heavily reliant on vets educated in the European Union.

“As with our Medical and Dental Schools, we have
demonstrated we want to break down barriers and make education accessible to
all. It’s no different with our Veterinary School and we want to open the doors
and offer a pathway for any student, no matter of their background, into this
rewarding profession, while maintaining the very highest of education and
professional standards.”

The Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVMS)
course at UCLan is a five-year innovative programme making use of “hands-on” modules from Year 1, rather than in the later years as delivered in more
traditional programmes.

UCLan is collaborating with Myerscough College and local
veterinary partners to deliver certain programmes of study. Students will
benefit from Myerscough’s renowned animal training facilities which have
underpinned their established RCVS accredited vet nursing programmes, alongside UCLan’s experience of establishing
leading UK medical, dental, pharmacy and optometry schools with significant and
continuing investment in state-of-the-art clinical training facilities.

Alison Robinson, Chief Executive and Principal at
Myerscough College, said: “Myerscough College and University Centre Myerscough
is delighted to be working in collaboration with the University to open this
prestigious new veterinary school. Myerscough has been delivering land-based
education for over 125 years and our experience in delivering a range of veterinary
nursing, animal science, equine science and agriculture degrees will provide
the ideal environment for University of Central Lancashire veterinary students
to develop their practical skills. Students will be taught in state-of-the-art,
sector leading facilities, which have recently benefited from a £35 million investment.”

These resources will be also be used for the new Vet School
with the addition of bespoke veterinary equipment and facilities, ensuring a
truly integrated learning environment bringing all the clinical areas together.
UCLan will become one of the first universities in the world to make use of a
digital, virtual dissection platform for teaching animal anatomy using the
renowned veterinary Anatomage technology. Students will also undertake
practical placements at local, regional and national veterinary surgeries and
hospitals.

Professor StJohn Crean, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and
Enterprise), said: “Our Vet School offers a fantastic opportunity to build on
the world-renowned research already being undertaken by our academics across
our clinical, biomedical and science areas. The addition of animal health to
our portfolio provides many more research opportunities where cross
collaboration across many disciplines will not only benefit our research
outcomes but unify our researchers under the heading of One Health.”

The School will reside within the Faculty of Clinical and
Biomedical Sciences, operating in parallel with Schools of Pharmacy and
Biomedical Sciences, Medicine, Optometry and Dentistry.

Professor Jackson added: “The School will be driven by
enthusiastic academics who will offer innovative and excellent teaching
practices and will help further develop our transdisciplinary teaching and
research opportunities. There’s been huge support for this across the board and
it’s a very exciting time for us. I’m delighted that Dr Heather Bacon OBE has
joined us to lead the development of the School.”

The process of official recognition for a new veterinary
degree takes a number of years. The RCVS quality assures UK veterinary degrees
to ensure new graduates are fit to practise. Veterinary degrees must have a
recognition order from the Privy Council before graduates can automatically be
eligible for registration with the RCVS. Privy Council approval cannot be
considered until after the RCVS undertakes a formal inspection of a full course
and its standards, once the first cohort of students have completed their
degrees. UCLan is working closely with the RCVS as it develops its programme
and the final inspection would take place in in 2027; all being well, the Privy
Council would at that stage grant a recognition order.

Dr Linda Prescott-Clements, RCVS Director of Education,
added: “The RCVS looks forward to working with the team at the University of
Central Lancashire to ensure that the degree meets our accreditation standards
and, in time, produces high-quality and competent vets for the future.”

UCLan is planning to welcome the first intake
of UK and international students to veterinary sciences BSc and foundation
courses in September 2022 while BVMS students will be welcomed from 2023.

To find out more about the range of courses and how to
apply, visit the website.

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