Keele University and Harper Adams University have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding announcing that they are in exploratory talks to establish a new Veterinary School.
The new Vet School would provide five-year degrees leading to a Bachelor of Veterinary Sciences (BVSc) qualification, and training would be delivered on both university campuses in partnership with local clinical providers and industry. Accreditation would be sought from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, enabling graduates to register and practice as vets upon the award of their degree.
Vice-Chancellor of Keele University, Professor Trevor McMillan, said: “I am delighted that we have entered into talks with Harper Adams on the development of a Joint Veterinary School. Our two universities share a common philosophy of providing an outstanding learning and teaching experience, reflected in both having recently received a gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework, as well as ranking consistently highly in UK student satisfaction surveys, showing the natural affinity between us.”
Vice-Chancellor of Harper Adams University, Dr David Llewellyn, added: “Harper Adams has a long and proud history of working with the rural sector, and our teaching and research specialisms in agriculture and animal sciences will complement Keele’s established track-record in the fields of life sciences and medicine. We are excited by the prospect of a Joint Veterinary School and look forward to working closely with Keele on this initiative.”
As well as being a new provider in the region the School will reach out to those who may not have traditionally considered a career as a Vet. The institutions’ joint commitment to social mobility and the School’s dual location within the rural communities of Staffordshire and Shropshire and on the edge of the urban Stoke-on-Trent conurbation, makes it ideally placed to offer opportunities not currently available in the area.
Professor Jonathan Wastling, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of Natural Sciences at Keele University, commented: “The new Veterinary School will draw upon expertise in Life Sciences and our highly regarded Medical School as well as Harper Adams’ long-established record in delivering programmes in the veterinary field, agriculture and animal sciences. State of the art laboratories available on the Keele campus will be complemented by world-class large and small animal facilities provided by Harper Adams, offering the perfect environment for Veterinary students. Our intention is to produce highly-employable graduates able to deal with the challenging and rapidly changing landscape of the modern veterinary profession.”
Professor Peter Mills, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Harper Adams University added: “This initiative will enable our agricultural students and trainee veterinarians to have greater awareness of the issues facing both professions. It will also open up new avenues for livestock research, advanced veterinary training and knowledge exchange, ultimately to the benefit of the farming sector. ”
Further discussions and detailed business planning will be undertaken over the coming months, with a view to a further announcement later in the year outlining when the new School would expect to receive its first cohort of students.