New vet school opens for applications to tackle workforce shortage

New vet school issues call for prospective students to address national demand, particularly in rural areas.

School of Veterinary Medicine at Scotland’s Rural College opens for applications to tackle workforce shortage Getty Images

Aspiring veterinary professionals have been urged to apply for a place at Scotland’s first new vet school in more than a century.  

Prospective students can apply through clearing at the School of Veterinary Medicine at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) as of Friday July 5. 

The school has issued a call amid a national shortage of veterinary professionals, particularly in rural areas which chiefs warn has “serious ramifications” for Scotland’s farmers.

The School intends to register its first cohort of students on to its Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSci) degree in Aberdeen in mid-October/early November.  

Students who are successful in their application following interview will be contacted directly to confirm their start date. 

The SRUC veterinary school is the third in Scotland and the first in over 150 years.

Education chiefs say they will use innovative teaching methods to prepare students for work in the increasingly important rural mixed practice, agricultural and food sectors.

The new curriculum not only embeds students in real-life practices but will address a number of key issues within the wider rural and veterinary sectors.   

New vet school calling for applicants to address workforce shortage

Professor Caroline Argo, Dean of Veterinary Medicine and Head of School, said: “It is now recognised that the UK veterinary profession is failing to achieve self-sufficiency in generating and retaining homegrown talent.

“This has serious ramifications for Scotland’s farmers.

“We are seeking to address this by training the vets that are so essential for our food sector and mixed, rural practices. 

“The UK’s vet schools produce professionals of the very highest standard, but changes in the labour market mean that the veterinary profession remains on the Home Office’s ‘Shortage Occupation List’ and has a high turnover rate together with large dependency on non-UK, largely EU vets to address shortfalls in priority areas.

“These areas include remote and rural practice, veterinary public health, livestock health and welfare, and government services, including certification. 

“In light of Brexit and border policy changes, it is now essential for Scotland that we build new homegrown talent pools for ourselves, and equip them with the specialist skills, resilience and diversity that our rural communities, government and food sectors require.”

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