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Opening gateways to the profession

5 March 2006

In response to Sir Alan Langlands' report "Gateways to the Professions", the RCVS will be working with universities and DEFRA to apply for funding from the Department for Education & Skills to improve access to veterinary careers.

October 2006 sees the introduction of increased tuition fees for UK university students, and concerns have been raised about the possible implications for veterinary graduates of the future.

The RCVS has contributed to the Langlands' report, a study which looked into the possible implications for access to professional careers, and in response to this, the DfES is making development money available for collaborative projects, to be led by professional bodies over the next two to three years, to take forward the Gateways agenda. This includes:

"…changing unhelpful stereotypical images about the professions; ensuring that young people and those who advise them, including parents and carers, have access to resources about the career opportunities that exist in each profession, the different routes available, and the qualifications and experience required for entry." (Langlands Report, Recommendation 1)

With the number of applications to veterinary schools already starting to drop slightly, it will be important to ensure that young people with the potential to be excellent veterinarians are not discouraged from applying to veterinary school and it is hoped that the project will result in improved veterinary careers material.

All the universities will have a range of bursaries available for those on lower incomes, and alternative routes into the degree course are starting to be developed to attract a wider range of applicants.

Following the Langlands report, the RCVS is also awaiting confirmation from the DfES of a significant change to the so-called "previous study rules", which will allow graduate entrants to veterinary school to apply for continuing student loans and be exempt from paying full tuition fees.

Employers and veterinary associations that are interested in collaborating on the Gateways project are invited to contact Freda Andrews, Head of Education, on 020 7202 0702 or

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