New Veterinary School plans to embrace links between human and animal health

Thursday 25 October 2012

A new world-class School of Veterinary Medicine will be launched at the University of Surrey in 2014, constructed around the theme that human and animal health is intrinsically linked.

The announcement of the plans shows how the new School will embrace the ‘One Health – One Medicine’ philosophy and will include the development of a research-led veterinary medicine degree programme with an emphasis on research, veterinary pathology and livestock medicine.

Currently there are only seven Schools of Veterinary Medicine in the country, and Surrey will be the eighth school in the country. The setting for the development at the heart of the University of Surrey’s Manor Park site in Guildford will encourage collaboration of students and staff from different disciplines, with those studying towards a veterinary medicine qualification being exposed to cutting edge technology in engineering and physics as well as receiving training in core business skills.

The new School of Veterinary Medicine at Surrey will be delivered through collaborations with key partners that the University already has strong relationships with including: the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA), the BBSRC Pirbright Institute, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), Fitzpatrick Referrals, Liphook Equine Hospital and Westpoint Farm Vets.  Over the coming year the University is looking to extend its relationships with regional veterinary practices.

Students will also be exposed to global issues concerning animal health through the University Global Partnership Network (UGPN), an exciting trilateral agreement between Surrey, North Carolina State and São Paulo Universities through teaching collaborations, summer scholarships and research exchanges.

Professor Lisa Roberts, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey, comments: “As a research-intensive University we have the expertise, reputation, technical and business skills which our students can benefit from, allowing us to train the veterinary leaders of the future. Combining state-of-the-art facilities, our partnerships and a campus location, the new School will provide a stimulating environment not only for undergraduates, but for the professional development training of qualified veterinary surgeons.”

Professor John Fazakerley, Director of The Pirbright Institute, said: “This is good news for the UK veterinary research community. The Pirbright Institute currently works in close collaboration with the University of Surrey on research that benefits animal health and welfare; we very much look forward to building on this established and growing association as the new school of veterinary medicine is launched. There is an important place for trained veterinarians in scientific research and we are delighted that the University has decided to emphasise these areas in particular.”

Professor Andy Durham of the Liphook Equine Hospital comments: “The new School of Veterinary Medicine development programme at the University of Surrey is ideally timed to provide an alternative to the traditional veterinary education and to respond to the demands of a changing profession with fresh plans, ideas and enthusiasm.  Enticing newly developed facilities make Guildford an excellent student town and with several collaborative specialist partners within the locality the new School of Veterinary Medicine is perfectly placed geographically to provide a veterinary education fitting for the 21st century.”

Professor Noel Fitzpatrick comments: “The philosophy of One Health-One Medicine is undeniably the single most important movement in medical science today. By making this a cornerstone of the educational platform at the new veterinary school, the University of Surrey will undoubtedly inspire a new breed of veterinary scientist.  This next generation of vets will be eminently employable as clinicians, scientists or researchers in a globally changing healthcare market for animals and for humans. Most importantly, within this ethos, they will be exposed to cutting edge clinical practice and research. The University is ideally positioned to deliver this approach to veterinary education.”

The University is already in consultation with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).

Freda Andrews, Head of Education at RCVS, commented: “We were pleased to meet Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, President and Vice-Chancellor and his colleagues from the University of Surrey recently, and interested to hear their proposals to develop a new School of Veterinary Medicine. We will be working with them over the coming months to develop a timetable for considering the new programme against our accreditation standards.  The monitoring process will take a number of years.”

The University has already laid the foundations for the new School through its expansion of teaching and research activities in its Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, including the launch of the BSc programme in Veterinary Biosciences in 2009 and in October of this year a new MSc in Veterinary Microbiology.  A new MSc in Veterinary Pathology is also currently under development.

Throughout the next twelve month period the University will be involved with the recruiting of new academic staff, attracting the first cohort of students, and beginning building works in preparation for the first cohort of students in 2014.

For further info please visit: www.surrey.ac.uk/vet/index.htm

Media Enquiries

Peter La, Press Office at the University of Surrey, Tel: +44 (0)1483 689191, or Email mediarelations@surrey.ac.uk

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