History made as Surrey’s first cohort of veterinary students graduate
Five years since first opening its doors, the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey yesterday (18th July) celebrated the inaugural graduation of students from its prestigious Veterinary Medicine and Science BVMSci course.
The Class of 2019 received their degree certificates from the internationally-renowned philanthropist and University alumnus Dato Dr Kim Tan, Pro-Chancellor at the University of Surrey, before attending an official ceremony with the President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Dr Niall Connell. Dr Connell formally welcomed the graduates as official members of the governing body enabling them to practice as vets.
Professor Chris Proudman, Head of the School of Veterinary Medicine, said: “I am incredibly proud of all our graduating students, who continue to impress me every day with their resilience, confidence and maturity. At Surrey we strive to create vets who are not only highly skilled but can embrace modern technology. I am very confident that each of our students has the skills to excel in whatever field of work they choose.”
Officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen, the School has gone from strength to strength with 650 students now undertaking veterinary training at the £45m state of the art facility, whose offering is distinguished by the unique teaching model offered at Surrey. One stand-out feature of this model is intra-mural rotations, in which final year students undertake clinical training placements in the veterinary workplace and are mentored by both university staff and trained practice personnel.
This model, and the skills it has provided, have proven very attractive to employers with 90 per cent of the Class of 2019 securing employment prior to graduation, with nearly 40 per cent of these positions with veterinary organisations partnered with the School of Veterinary Medicine.
Judy Scrine, Director of Mayes & Scrine Equine Vets, said: “We are very proud to work with Surrey, teaching final-year students what it means to be a practicing vet in a “real world” setting. This gives students a great opportunity to qualify with genuine Day One Competency, and to have confidence in dealing with all kinds of cases. Students who have joined us from Surrey have impressed us with their knowledge, professionalism and competence. We are looking forward to continuing to work with the University to develop the vets of the future.”
Students have also been very positive about their time at the school. The most recent National Student Survey revealed a 100 per cent satisfaction rate amongst veterinary students at Surrey, the highest score of all veterinary schools in the United Kingdom.
Tom White from the Class of 2019 said: “I have absolutely loved my time at Surrey. The course has been thoroughly enjoyable with a mix of practicals, lectures and small group teaching workshops from the word go. The teaching staff have been brilliant throughout the course and I feel like I have been really well prepared for life as a vet. I couldn’t recommend Veterinary Medicine at Surrey highly enough.”
Siobhan Holden, also from the Class of 2019, said: “I am so happy with my decision to come here, and feel very lucky to have been able to integrate into the whole university and make lifelong friends from such diverse backgrounds. Throughout the five years at Surrey, I have been encouraged to develop personally, academically and professionally.”
The School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey is one of only eight veterinary schools in the United Kingdom and one of only two to open in the last 50 years. Students at Surrey not only gain the clinical and technological skills required in modern practices, but have been educated in the context of “One Health,” understanding the inter-connectedness of human and animal health. Examples include food-borne diseases such as Salmonella and E. coli infections that transfer to humans in food, and infectious diseases like rabies and Ebola virus disease.
Professor Max Lu, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, said: “My heartfelt congratulations to all of our graduating veterinary medicine students, and to all the staff from across the University who have helped make this possible. The Class of 2019 have this week made history. This cohort embodies the new face of veterinary medicine – equipped with the skills and competencies for animal health care as well as advancing the One Health agenda in a digital world; we will watch with great interest as they take the Surrey spirit of excellence and partnership into their careers.”