Tonight seemed to bring the new vet school at the University of Surrey, Guildford very much to the forefront of everyone’s attention. One thing that it highlighted, however, was how little many actually know about the new school and it’s plans to start accepting applicants this year.
I recently spoke with a representative from the new school, following my visit to the main University of Surrey campus, and put some questions to them:
1. What is the anticipated annual intake for the new school?
In year one (2014) we will have a small intake of 25 students, rising to 100 students per year in subsequent years.
2. Is the vet school to offer just one veterinary degree programme, and what will this be (eg BVSc), or are there plans to offer additional options, such an integrated intercalation?
Surrey already runs a BSc programme in veterinary biosciences and a MSc in veterinary microbiology. In the new School we will initially offer a veterinary medicine programme but in future years we wish to offer integrated intercalation. We will also use our clinical expertise in the school to offer a range of CPD programmes for veterinary graduates, veterinary nurses and technicians.
3. What will the minimum entry requirements be? (Grades, work-experience requirements)
Our entry requirements are AAB (with A grades required in chemistry and biology). Applicants are expected to have gained at least four weeks animal-related work experience, which could include general veterinary practice, farm, stable yard, kennels, rescue centre, research laboratory, or abattoir work.
4. Will there be any provisions made for widening participation, eg lower entrance requirements for eligible students?
The University runs an In2Surrey scheme which is targeted at able students with widening participation profiles, applied on a national basis and aims to support students through on-campus advice, guidance workshops on applying to university and writing personal statements. The potential of qualifying students is recognised by making an offer one grade below the standard offer for the course the student applies for; this scheme will also be open to any future candidates entering the scheme that wishes to undertake the Veterinary Medicine programme. The University has a strong record in providing targeted bursaries and is investing more to support students from low-income backgrounds to ensure that tuition fees do not deter talented young people from considering university. The University offers a package of bursaries and fee waivers to students to ensure they are not disadvantaged by their financial circumstances.
5. What teaching style is likely to be applied? Problem-based learning, or more traditional lecture based teaching?
This will be a new curriculum based on the current best teaching practices. There will therefore be a mixture of teaching styles including some traditional lectures and problem (or case) based learning, as well as an emphasis on building both clinical and research skills through hands-on practical teaching.
6. How will clinical teaching be delivered? Will it be via the Nottingham system whereby this is provided by commercial practices or are there plans to establish clinical facilities at the university itself?
We will be adopting a Nottingham style delivery mode for clinical skills training; students will have the opportunity to build their skills from the start of the course in practical teaching sessions, our new clinical skills centre and through working with clinical staff at a number of associated partner practices and veterinary hospitals.
7. Where will students be taught? Will the full course be taught at one site, like Nottingham, or will there be two sites, like Bristol ?
The students will be taught in a brand new School of Veterinary Medicine on campus offering state of the art facilities that will include a clinical skills centre, a surgery training suite and a learning environment that is built around the needs of the student of today and focused on using technology to enhance learning.
Applications for the new course can be submitted via UCAS (as with any of the other veterinary degree courses) from this September (2013) for the initial intake of just 25 students in 2014.