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EMS grants to be made available for vet students
“It’s clear that EMS costs students hundreds of pounds a year, without taking into account lost potential earnings."
Survey shows cost is the main barrier to placements

A new grant scheme will help veterinary students cover the cost of extra mural studies (EMS), after a survey found that cost is the main barrier to placements.

The Association of Veterinary Students (AVS) will offer five £200 grants to assist students with the cost of their 26-week clinical EMS placements.

VDS Training has agreed to fund the first two years as a pilot scheme, after which AVS will review the offering based on demand.

A 2016 survey by the AVS and BVA found that the cost of EMS contributed significantly to the estimated shortfall of £1188 per term in the clinical years of the veterinary degree. It also revealed that the average expenditure for a two-week placement was £152 for large animal and £119 for small animal.

In addition, 87 per cent of students had to have a car for their placement.

AVS president David Charles said: “It’s clear that EMS costs students hundreds of pounds a year, without taking into account lost potential earnings.

“For a lot of students, many placements are not possible, as they would have to source external accommodation and transport, just because of where they happen to live. This is on top of the costs of food and travel required for any placement as evidenced in the AVS/BVA 2016 Survey.

“Most, if not all, of the current grants on offer to students are for taking part in research or for travel abroad. The AVS EMS Grants will make previously inaccessible EMS placements feasible for the winning students and help them get the most out of their EMS.”

The first AVS EMS grants will be launched in the next academic year. Applications open on 1 October 2018 and the awards will be presented at the 2019 AVS Congress in London.

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UK a step closer to ivory ban

News Story 1
 A UK ban on ivory sales is one step closer to coming into force, as the government has introduced the Ivory Bill to parliament. The ban covers items of all ages, rather than just ivory carved after 1947. Anyone breaching the ban will face an unlimited fine or up to five years in jail.

Conservationists have welcomed the bill, which comes less than six weeks after the government published the results of a consultation on this issue. Around 55 African elephants are now slaughtered for their ivory every day and the illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth £17 billion a year.  

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News Shorts
Strategic alliance to support development of agri-food sector

The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and Queen’s University Belfast have formed a new strategic alliance that will see both institutions form a research and education partnership.

Under the agreement, the organisations will pool their resources and expertise to support the development of the agri-food sector. It will work across three core themes: enabling innovation, facilitating new ways of working and partnerships.