Student Funding to Increase
The Student Loans Company has now been able to confirm, with the Department for Education, that veterinary courses can now be considered ‘long course’ degrees in England, thus increasing the loan available to students. The move comes after considerable efforts by the Association of Veterinary Students (AVS), working alongside the Veterinary Schools Council (VSC), to have the expensive and time consuming demands of EMS placements formally recognised. Since EMS is an essential and mandatory part of the veterinary degree, AVS has long lobbied for student maintenance loans to reflect these weeks are working, not as holiday time.
Following discussions between the University of Liverpool and the Student Loans Company, the vet degree there has now been recognised as a ‘long course’ and other vet schools in England are being encouraged to register their degree as a long course and include the average number of weeks of extra-mural studies. The VSC is communicating with the English vet schools and details should be fed down to students soon. The VSC is also in discussions with the relevant bodies in Scotland to extend this action to help students studying at Glasgow and Royal Dick (Edinburgh).
This move comes at a time when the VSC, AVS and the RCVS are examining the EMS requirements, governed by RCVS and currently set at 12 weeks of pre-clinical EMS and 26 weeks of clinical EMS. The profession is continually seeking to ensure high quality, well prepared and motivated graduated enter the profession and EMS plays an important part in this. But issues regarding quality, availability and cost of EMS have been the cause of much debate.
How much better off per weeks students would be is hard to calculate, a common theme in student finance, but it’s not an insignificant amount and will depend on household income.
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