PA 158/09 The University of Nottingham’s Vet School — one of its newest schools — has received a glowing report from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).
After an inspection visit to the School of Veterinary Medicine and Sciences, a team from the RCVS congratulated staff for their commitment and enthusiasm and noted that the students ‘reflected great credit on the university’.
The successful inspection visit is a significant milestone on the way to formal RCVS recognition for the Vet School. Another scheduled visit will take place in 2011, when the School will have a full complement of students across all five years of the course and the first year’s intake will be preparing to graduate. The University of Nottingham Vet School was the first to open in the UK for more than half a century when it accepted its first students in 2006. It now has 310 full-time students between years one and three of their degrees, and will have a total of around 550 students when it reaches full capacity.
As part of the approval process to gain recognition of the Nottingham veterinary degree, the School hosted an RCVS visit in February 2009, covering all aspects of the School and its Clinical Associates, from establishment through to future plans. Following the visit, the visitors produced a constructive report which has been reviewed and approved by the RCVS Education Policy and Specialisation Committee and RCVS Council.
The RCVS report said: "The visitors’ first and lasting impression is that the Dean has been successful in assembling a young and enthusiastic group of staff to help him with the exciting task of launching a new veterinary school. The University appears to have provided all the financial and organisational support that could be expected.
“The Dean and all the staff are to be congratulated on the palpable enthusiasm and commitment to what is an exciting opportunity in veterinary education, enthusiasm which has been successfully transmitted to the students...who, like all veterinary students, reflect great credit on their University."
Importantly, the visitors attended all but one of the School’s Clinical Associates and reported that they were "...highly motivated towards self-improvement, enthusiastic about their partnership, committed to expansion of their operation, and in most cases to an increase in the level of specialisation. All of these are necessary to meet the requirements of student teaching. The visitors considered that there is nothing within the proposed arrangement that should provide a bar to recognition, and indeed that there are advantages in utilising the expertise and enthusiasm of the local veterinary community".
The visitors concluded that should the staff of the Veterinary School give the same attention to the next two years of the development of the course, and follow the recommendations made in their report, the visitors have no reason to doubt that the substantive visitation in two years time will recommend recognition of the Nottingham degree.
Professor Gary England, Dean of the School, said: “The School greatly appreciates the professional, helpful and open manner in which the visit was conducted. We are extremely pleased at the outcome of the visit, and that our work to date has been recognised. The School will continue to develop years four and five of the course to the same high quality that is evident in the earlier years of the programme.
“The School has had the unique opportunity to develop an outcome–based curriculum, designed to meet the requirements of the RCVS and the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE), and to meet the requirements of the profession. Our graduates will meet RCVS Day 1 competencies, as do all graduates of UK Veterinary Schools. Our students will however have had the opportunity to undertake a curriculum that has provided them with experience of a large and varied first opinion and referral caseload, together with the ability to develop clinical skills and behaviours throughout the course.
“The Nottingham curriculum also allows students to be provided with a considerable opportunity to conduct research, resulting in graduate veterinary surgeons that have the ability to problem-solve and have a capacity for life-long learning."