A new vet school - Harper Adams Watch

VMD100
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There had been talk a year or so ago about a link between Harper Adams and Keele university combining to offer a veterinary medicine program and I was browsing the Farmers Guardian website today and apparently this is now confirmed and they are aiming for their first student intake in 2020!

Curious to hear thoughts and opinions on this, and whether a new vet school is needed

Source:
https://www.fginsight.com/news/news/...-school--60804
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Little Tail Chaser
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(Original post by VMD100)
Curious to hear thoughts and opinions on this, and whether a new vet school is needed
No :unimpressed:


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But seriously with Brexit and all that, maybe it might not be a bad idea :dontknow: . A lot of the sectors of vet med that are currently staffed in a decent proportion by people who didn't graduate in the UK (TB testing, named veterinary surgeons etc) are more agriculture based so it makes sense for them to target that area, although in reality as we all know a vet degree is a vet degree and people will go anywhere they get a place. I recall Surrey claiming that they were going to target the pathology side of things in particular, but I highly doubt that that has become the case (any 4th/3rd year Surrey vets care to weigh in?). Geographically, Harper Adams makes more sense than Surrey did in my opinion, and they are already well known and highly regarded for courses similar to vet med.

TL;DR, I think the surplus of graduates is overstated (although this is admittedly not coming from somebody currently looking for a job...) and don't necessarily oppose the opening of a new course. It would be great if they could specifically target the sectors that have a shortage of people wanting to work them, although in reality I think this is unrealistic.

Also haven't had from Aberystwyth for a while. They've been mumbling about a vet school for a while and I think they would do a good job of it :holmes:
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animalmagic
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I saw this in Vet Times yesterday. We are in desperate need of more clincal vets for sure but I'm not so sure that a new vet school is the right way to go about getting them. I thought Cardiff was also planning on offering vet med soon or did they change their mind?


(Original post by VMD100)
There had been talk a year or so ago about a link between Harper Adams and Keele university combining to offer a veterinary medicine program and I was browsing the Farmers Guardian website today and apparently this is now confirmed and they are aiming for their first student intake in 2020!

Curious to hear thoughts and opinions on this, and whether a new vet school is needed

Source:
https://www.fginsight.com/news/news/...-school--60804
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OrangeArcher
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It's annoying that they are opening in 2020 as I'm applying for 2019 entry.
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Little Tail Chaser
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(Original post by OrangeArcher)
It's annoying that they are opening in 2020 as I'm applying for 2019 entry.
Are you likely to have applied there? :holmes:

The year Surrey opened I saw a lot of people apply there under the 'logic' that it was the safe option as fewer people would want to go to a brand new vet school. Obviously if everybody takes this approach then it isn't end up being any less competitive. Ultimately Surrey ended up taking on more students than they had intended for their first cohort so it will be interesting to see how many people HA are planning to cater to.
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VMD100
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Personally I'm not keen on the idea - and if Harper Adams was a vet school when I was applying I would undoubtedly go there! Production animal medicine is my passion and I can see that being a great place to go for that direction....however...

More and more vet schools = more and more students and eventually vets. Too many vets will results in even poorer working conditions as individual vets become less valuable to employers. A pessimistic approach? undoubtedly - but also a realistic one.

Brexit may change this if we have fewer international vets entering the country we need to bridge that gap somehow but I believe as original vet schools are taking on larger cohorts and Surrey opening its doors we have more than enough at present.
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OrangeArcher
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(Original post by Little Tail Chaser)
Are you likely to have applied there? :holmes:

The year Surrey opened I saw a lot of people apply there under the 'logic' that it was the safe option as fewer people would want to go to a brand new vet school. Obviously if everybody takes this approach then it isn't end up being any less competitive. Ultimately Surrey ended up taking on more students than they had intended for their first cohort so it will be interesting to see how many people HA are planning to cater to.
I probably wouldn't apply, however, the option would be there if I wanted to. I love the idea at studying at Surrey as it is a new vet school and I live the atmoshphere there.
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VETwannabe
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(Original post by VMD100)
More and more vet schools = more and more students and eventually vets. Too many vets will results in even poorer working conditions as individual vets become less valuable to employers. A pessimistic approach? undoubtedly - but also a realistic one.
Just want to throw in my 2 cents on this point. I don't think that this is likely to happen anytime soon. There's a vet shortage in the UK, that's why we have so many international vets working here. We'll never get to a point where we have too many vets because in the UK, the vet work/life balance and pay isn't doing as well as other countries, which is why so many UK vets go to other countries (i.e. Australia). So your worse case scenario is unlikely to happen unless we fix the current problem and our vets actually want to stay here.

And that's why all these new vet schools are opening up - to try and produce more vets to fill in the gaps in the vet industry. But also because they want to try and teach vet students in new ways to make them better prepared for life in practice later on. Apparently loads of new vets are getting disillusioned because real practice is different than what they expected.

As for my opinion on the new vet school, I think that it'll be a good thing for the industry, because maybe they'll train their vets in a different way which will end up being beneficial to them and to the industry when they graduate. I like to keep an open mind, especially since there isn't really much competition for jobs at the moment.
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lwescott
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I think a little competition should be seen as a good thing, schools should strive to offer better courses and effective ways of teaching. As LTC said, Aberystywth have been talking about opening a vet school since I started 8 years ago and have an agric/animal science campus with labs and dissection suites they could use but I've not heard anything recently.

Students are understandably worried about EMS placements and job competition but there's a recruitment crisis and everyone I know graduating this year have multiple job offers. Graduate schemes are becoming really popular as practices are aware we need support so that can only be a good thing for job satisfaction and retention going forward.
With Brexit looming we don't know if vets can be recruited from overseas so may have an even bigger shortfall soon.

I just quickly googled so feel free to correct the numbers but RVC admitted 160 students in 2008 and 246 in 2011.
I can't find 2017 entry on the website but I don't hear people complaining about the increased intake at other schools...
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Hannah-JG
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I think it's a brilliant idea personally (slightly biased being a HAU student) - fantastic university and being leading in the agricultural/animal health/food production sector, a vet school is the next logical step. Nowhere else like it!

My issue (which may be disagreed with) is the fact that the vet schools seem to let in students with the top class grades, who then cannot seem to cope with the job itself either during the course, or once graduated. Veterinary needs to lose the glamorous 'look' to prospective students, which may be something that Harper can help with, due to it's farming history.
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VMD100
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(Original post by Hannah-JG)
My issue (which may be disagreed with) is the fact that the vet schools seem to let in students with the top class grades, who then cannot seem to cope with the job itself either during the course, or once graduated. Veterinary needs to lose the glamorous 'look' to prospective students, which may be something that Harper can help with, due to it's farming history.
I completely agree, I really see it in a few people in my year. They had the grades and interview ability to get in, but they are going to make very mediocre vets as their practical ability to actually deal with a situation is ridiculous. Admittedly the majority are very capable and I am literally referring to one or two students in a year but true - especially on the farm side of things some students are not cut out for it.
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Vetadele
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Hey ! I'm a french student looking to apply to vet schools in the UK (starting the course in 2020). I don't really know if my opininion weighs in a lot on this topic, but I'd personally definitely consider applying there! As long as I'm certified that the final diploma would be recognised by the RVCS and that the quality of the course wouldn't be diminished by its 'newness', why not ! But, to be fair, I wonder if my choices for my applications won't be towards more traditional schools such as london or glasgow... Who knows, still got a year and a whole lot of exams before I have to think about it !
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alexandria51201
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I think it looks really interesting! And they are offering alternative pathways for students who don’t have enough practical experience but have the academic potential, and then students who have practical experience but not enough academic potential. I think this will create a lot more diversity in the veterinary field and gives a lot more opportunities to those who wouldn’t be able to get in through the typical direct route.
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A_Vet_Student
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It's a catastrophe waiting to happen.

People are already really struggling to find EMS practices around Nottingham/Surrey because the universities don't have their own teaching hospitals, so outsource to local practices, meaning students living in the area but attending another university have to find (and, more importantly, fund) practices away from home. This will affect poorer students that most, which may in turn lead to a decline in poorer students applying to do the course in the first place. Harper Adams will only add to this mess.

Current vet schools are finding it increasingly difficult to attract and maintain clinical staff to teach students, as more and more new schools keep cropping up.
More students = decreased number of experienced vets able to teach = diluted clinical abilities of students = further decrease in mental health = increased number of vets leaving profession* = further employment crisis
*both newer grads and more experienced vets who have, unsurprisingly, burned out


It's clear universities know that a VetMed degree will always attract a huge number of applications, and thus money - and this is clearly what a new vet school is all about. Money money money, without thought or care for the real problems underlying the veterinary industry (poor working conditions, work-life balance and pay which will only get worse by adding more new grads) which will just result in more vets migrating to countries with better pay/work-life balance (ie Australia, Canada) or leaving the profession altogether and leaving behind more and more inexperienced vets to pick up the slack.

So in summary, no, a new vet school is not good for anyone except university chancellors.
Last edited by A_Vet_Student; 4 weeks ago
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VMD100
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(Original post by A_Vet_Student)
It's a catastrophe waiting to happen.

People are already really struggling to find EMS practices around Nottingham/Surrey because the universities don't have their own teaching hospitals, so outsource to local practices, meaning students living in the area but attending another university have to find (and, more importantly, fund) practices away from home. This will affect poorer students that most, which may in turn lead to a decline in poorer students applying to do the course in the first place. Harper Adams will only add to this mess.

Current vet schools are finding it increasingly difficult to attract and maintain clinical staff to teach students, as more and more new schools keep cropping up.
More students = decreased number of experienced vets able to teach = diluted clinical abilities of students = further decrease in mental health = increased number of vets leaving profession* = further employment crisis
*both newer grads and more experienced vets who have, unsurprisingly, burned out


It's clear universities know that a VetMed degree will always attract a huge number of applications, and thus money - and this is clearly what a new vet school is all about. Money money money, without thought or care for the real problems underlying the veterinary industry (poor working conditions, work-life balance and pay which will only get worse by adding more new grads) which will just result in more vets migrating to countries with better pay/work-life balance (ie Australia, Canada) or leaving the profession altogether and leaving behind more and more inexperienced vets to pick up the slack.

So in summary, no, a new vet school is not good for anyone except university chancellors.
A new vet school is pretty good for filling that shortage of vets we have every year though isn't it... Which is only going to get bigger with brexit

I think most vets would argue the clinical abilities of all vet students/new grads is pretty lacking but that isn't what causes a decrease in mental health - its the emotional strain of dealing with the job and workload which would be similar if you were the best or worse in your year group.

The only vet school I really see stretching their resources too far would be Nottingham with dual intake.
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A_Vet_Student
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(Original post by VMD100)
A new vet school is pretty good for filling that shortage of vets we have every year though isn't it... Which is only going to get bigger with brexit

I think most vets would argue the clinical abilities of all vet students/new grads is pretty lacking but that isn't what causes a decrease in mental health - its the emotional strain of dealing with the job and workload which would be similar if you were the best or worse in your year group.

The only vet school I really see stretching their resources too far would be Nottingham with dual intake.
Short-term, perhaps. It would be far better to propel the profession into the modern day and address the many issues within it, beginning with the retention of experienced vets. A new vet school isn't going to do much in the first few years post-Brexit (if it ever actually happens) - which is the point you appear to have missed.


I'm well aware of what causes a decrease in mental health thanks, we do get taught about it fairly frequently. The point that you appear to have missed again, is that more inexperienced new grads plus fewer experienced vets means teaching/support in clinics is diluted and spread more thinly, in addition to the more experienced vets having to pick up the slack, which is not conducive to a happy, productive work environment. This is a contributing factor to the many causes of decreased mental health (which I have mentioned further on in my post).


I can agree with you on Nottingham's dual intake madness.
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Vetadele
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Does Notts overestimate it’s capacity to welcome students ? I was thinking of applying there, but I don’t want to feel like the lectures and practicals are crowded... also, I heard that students already struggle to find places for work experience and EMS, so would adding another school make this perhaps even worse ?
(Original post by VMD100)
A new vet school is pretty good for filling that shortage of vets we have every year though isn't it... Which is only going to get bigger with brexit

I think most vets would argue the clinical abilities of all vet students/new grads is pretty lacking but that isn't what causes a decrease in mental health - its the emotional strain of dealing with the job and workload which would be similar if you were the best or worse in your year group.

The only vet school I really see stretching their resources too far would be Nottingham with dual intake.
Last edited by Vetadele; 4 weeks ago
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VMD100
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(Original post by A_Vet_Student)
Short-term, perhaps. It would be far better to propel the profession into the modern day and address the many issues within it, beginning with the retention of experienced vets. A new vet school isn't going to do much in the first few years post-Brexit (if it ever actually happens) - which is the point you appear to have missed.


I'm well aware of what causes a decrease in mental health thanks, we do get taught about it fairly frequently. The point that you appear to have missed again, is that more inexperienced new grads plus fewer experienced vets means teaching/support in clinics is diluted and spread more thinly, in addition to the more experienced vets having to pick up the slack, which is not conducive to a happy, productive work environment. This is a contributing factor to the many causes of decreased mental health (which I have mentioned further on in my post).


I can agree with you on Nottingham's dual intake madness.
Considering Brexit, even when passed, will not occur for a few years, and its effects may not be fully implemented for a further 5-10 (and as I am sure you don't need it pointing out to you the standard vet degree length is 5 years) a new vet school will do lots in the first few years post-Brexit. If you look at the rates people are leaving the profession the most are actually leaving within their first 18 months of practice. Whilst some more experienced vets are leaving it is not actually the main concern. This explains why many older vets would refer to younger new grads as the entitled or snowflake generation. Which I can certainly see why in the attitudes of some

I would say that blasé attitude you have towards mental health is actually the largest problem within the profession, if you think you know about something because you've had a lecture on it then post-vet school life for you will be quite the rollercoaster because there is quite the difference between lecture theatres and the reality.
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VMD100
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(Original post by Vetadele)
Does Notts overestimate it’s capacity to welcome students ? I was thinking of applying there, but I don’t want to feel like the lectures and practicals are crowded... also, I heard that students already struggle to find places for work experience and EMS, so would adding another school make this perhaps even worse ?
This would be their first time running dual intake and I am sure a lot of planning has gone into it - however is it feasible to run 2x your intake without having 2x your number of staff whilst giving them the time off a standard lecturer would get?

I think finding placements depends on your location more than anything - Certainly living near Nottingham or Surrey could disadvantage you as they have relations with a lot of practices for placing their students, anywhere else you should be fine.
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A_Vet_Student
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(Original post by VMD100)
Considering Brexit, even when passed, will not occur for a few years, and its effects may not be fully implemented for a further 5-10 (and as I am sure you don't need it pointing out to you the standard vet degree length is 5 years) a new vet school will do lots in the first few years post-Brexit. If you look at the rates people are leaving the profession the most are actually leaving within their first 18 months of practice. Whilst some more experienced vets are leaving it is not actually the main concern. This explains why many older vets would refer to younger new grads as the entitled or snowflake generation. Which I can certainly see why in the attitudes of some

I would say that blasé attitude you have towards mental health is actually the largest problem within the profession, if you think you know about something because you've had a lecture on it then post-vet school life for you will be quite the rollercoaster because there is quite the difference between lecture theatres and the reality.
First and foremost, how dare you assume I have a blasé attitude towards mental health. Having struggled throughout my years at vet school with mental health which culminated in a very serious situation at the start of this year, as well as supporting friends in a similar situation, I can assure you I understand the struggle more than most. I never stated anywhere in my original post that "a lecture" was why I "think I know about something". Also, I'm not quite sure how anything I've said is "entitled" or typical of the "snowflake generation"? Perhaps you could clarify what you mean by this. It's certainly a worry for the profession at large if people think the possibility of diminished clinical skills and support is in any way entitled or just the worry of "snowflakes".

If you look at the rates people are leaving the profession the most are actually leaving within their first 18 months of practice. Whilst some more experienced vets are leaving it is not actually the main concern.
Yes, I'm aware of the fact lots leave during the first 2 years, which is why we don't need any more adding to this mess. It's not solving the issue of why new grads are leaving (which I've already spoken about) - the main reason being lack of support (which will get worse by adding more inexperienced vets to the mix). The rate of experienced vets leaving is actually also very high, and it is a huge concern. It says a lot that the Association of Vet Students released a statement when the announcement was first made about a new vet school, saying what a bad idea it was. There's also very little support amongst qualified vets - unfortunately the RCVS has no jurisdiction over the formation of new schools.


Re-read my original post - I've put in bold key points which I feel are very important for both new grads and experienced vets. My whole point is that we need more experienced vets, not more inexperienced vets. Reading back through this forum, I can see we actually agree on some aspects, it's a shame you've completely ignored my previous valid points simply because you misinterpreted my original post (of course I know how long the course takes, being close to graduating).
It's a catastrophe waiting to happen.

People are already really struggling to find EMS practices around Nottingham/Surrey because the universities don't have their own teaching hospitals, so outsource to local practices, meaning students living in the area but attending another university have to find (and, more importantly, fund) practices away from home. This will affect poorer students that most, which may in turn lead to a decline in poorer students applying to do the course in the first place. Harper Adams will only add to this mess.

Current vet schools are finding it increasingly difficult to attract and maintain clinical staff to teach students, as more and more new schools keep cropping up.
More students = decreased number of experienced vets able to teach = diluted clinical abilities of students = further decrease in mental health = increased number of vets leaving profession* = further employment crisis
*both newer grads and more experienced vets who have, unsurprisingly, burned out


It's clear universities know that a VetMed degree will always attract a huge number of applications, and thus money - and this is clearly what a new vet school is all about. Money money money, without thought or care for the real problems underlying the veterinary industry (poor working conditions, work-life balance and pay which will only get worse by adding more new grads) which will just result in more vets migrating to countries with better pay/work-life balance (ie Australia, Canada) or leaving the profession altogether and leaving behind more and more inexperienced vets to pick up the slack.

So in summary, no, a new vet school is not good for anyone except university chancellors.
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