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Overseas vet students ‘should be exempt from immigration targets’
In 2017, nearly 22 per cent of vet students studying in the UK were not British citizens.
BVA, RCVS and VSC submit recommendations to advisory committee 

Veterinary organisations are urging the government not to include overseas veterinary students in the UK’s immigration targets. Failure to exempt students from the targets will increase the downward pressure on the number of qualified vets able to come to the UK from overseas, they warned.

The recommendation was made by the BVA, RCVS and Veterinary Schools Council (VSC) in a joint paper submitted to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).

MAC is an independent body that provides the government with advice on migration issues. Last autumn it launched a consultation calling for views on the economic and social impacts of international students.

BVA, RCVS and VSC also said that overseas veterinary students who qualify in the UK should be able to remain here to live and work after graduation. This would help to alleviate the current shortage of vets.

Furthermore, any required increase in the number of UK-national veterinary graduates must be properly funded, they added. International students currently make a disproportionate contribution to the finances of veterinary schools.

In 2017, nearly 22 per cent of vet students studying in the UK were not British citizens. Out of 1,145 non-UK students, 129 were from EU countries and 1,016 were from non-EU countries.

Whilst the number of EU students was relatively small, the joint paper pointed out that EU nationals make up 22 per cent of veterinary surgeons working in academia in the UK. Most of these perform roles that are directly linked to the provision of education and training for the undergraduate veterinary degree.

RCVS president Professor Stephen May said the paper was submitted “against the backdrop of potential staff shortages across the veterinary sector as a whole”. This will be exacerbated if the flow of EU vets into the UK is stemmed after Brexit, or if large numbers of EU citizens already in the UK decide to go elsewhere to work.

BVA president John Fishwick added: “The measures outlined in our submission aim to help maintain the necessary numbers of highly educated and skilled vets. Fulfilling the demand for vets, following the departure of the UK from the EU, will be essential to maintain animal health and welfare, public health, food safety and trade.

“Enabling overseas veterinary students who qualify in the UK to remain and continue to contribute following graduation will help alleviate a shortage of vets.”

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ISFM announces first veterinary nurse conference

News Story 1
 The International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) - the veterinary division of International Cat Care - has announced its first annual conference dedicated to veterinary nurses. The day offers an opportunity to meet up with colleagues and enjoy more than five hours of stimulating CPD.

The conference is being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Stratford-Upon-Avon, on Saturday 15 September 2018. Tickets are £95 per person and include lunch, coffee breaks, downloadable proceedings and CPD certificate. For details and to book your place visit www.eventbrite.co.uk  

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News Shorts
WSAVA awards Australian vet with 'Next Generation’ award

Australian vet Dr Guyan Weerasinghe has been crowned winner of the WSAVA ‘Next Generation’ Veterinary Award. The award recognises those who graduated within the last 10 years and have made a significant contribution to the welfare of companion animals and the veterinary profession as a whole.

Besides maintaining a small animal caseload, Dr Weerasinghe works for the Queensland Government’s Department of Agriculture where he is involved with animal disease surveillance and increasing the public health risks in veterinary practice. He also collaborates on various One Health projects across Australia and gives regular talks on the impact of climate change on animal health and welfare.

Dr Weerasinghe will receive his award at the WSAVA World Congress 2018 (25-28 September).