Veterinary school in Cyprus seeks foreign applicants – News

VetMed building of the University of Nicosia

Photo courtesy of University of Nicosia

A new school of veterinary medicine (pictured) at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus, an island country in the eastern Mediterranean. It hopes to attract potential students from around the world, including North America.

A new veterinary school in Cyprus, an island nation in the eastern Mediterranean, plans to accept dozens of students each year, the vast majority from abroad.

The veterinary school at the University of Nicosia, a private institution in the Cypriot capital, will accept an initial cohort of 30 students for the current academic year, increasing to around 60 to 80 in subsequent years, according to its program director, Dr Mike. Herrtage.

Instruction this fall will not begin until October 31, approximately one month after the university’s academic year begins on September 26, to allow prospective students to complete the application process.

The delay is due to the fact that the new veterinary program only obtained official accreditation from the Cyprus Higher Education Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency at the end of May.

“At the moment we are still enrolling students,” said Herrtage, a former dean of the University of Cambridge veterinary school, in an interview this week. “This October will be a small cohort, so the real benefit for these pioneering students is that they will receive more attention in the smaller classes.”

The Cypriot school targets potential students in neighboring countries such as Greece and Israel – Herrtage noting that Greece has only two veterinary schools and Israel only has one. Applicants from further afield are also welcome, including from the UK and North America. “We don’t expect Cypriot students to make up more than 5% of the cohort, at best,” he said. Cyprus has a population of around 1.2 million.

Both local and international students will pay the same annual tuition fee of €20,000 (US$19,901), meaning those enrolling in the five-year undergraduate DVM program can expect to spend €100,000 ( 99,503 USD) in tuition fees. The university estimates that accommodation expenses for international students over the five years would amount to at least €50,000 (US$49,752).

Herrtage said the cost of the program, including accommodation fees, which in Cyprus are relatively low, is nearly half of what international students would pay, on average, for DVM programs in the United States. , in the UK or in a Caribbean institution. He acknowledged, however, that the cost of education can vary greatly from institution to institution in different countries.

The University of Nicosia offered the first cohort of undergraduate students a 20% discount on annual tuition fees for the five years of the program. An additional 10% discount is available for applicants deemed to be in need of financial assistance.

The school’s launch comes at a time when an apparent shortage of practitioners around the world, linked in part to the growing demand for companion animal care during the pandemic, is prompting some policymakers to call for more veterinary schools. At the same time, runaway inflation is raising fears of a recession in many countries, which could reduce demand for veterinary care and lessen the need for an influx of new graduates.

In the United States, for example, new programs at the University of Arizona, Long Island University and Texas Tech University are expected to graduate between 2023 and 2025, and more established programs are expanding their class size. Plans to open programs in New Jersey, West Virginia and Arkansas could increase the number of U.S. schools from 33 to 36.

“Obviously, if there’s a big recession, the demand for veterinary services will go down, and that might allow us to catch up a bit,” Herrtage said. “But I think the deficit of vets right now is such that if you talk to someone who wants to find a vet for a job, they’re really struggling.”

Additionally, Herrtage said, the demand for pet care is growing rapidly in parts of southern Europe and the Middle East, amid shifting cultural attitudes toward pet care. “They have become increasingly important to families, who are therefore willing to spend more on care,” he said. “If you go back 10 years to Greece, for example, if you had a cat that didn’t feel well, then you would just put it down and get another one. The way people think about pets has changed dramatically. “

The program, which will be taught in English, is not currently accredited with foreign veterinary associations because most require years of graduates before accreditation, Herrtage said. In the meantime, graduates will have to overcome additional hurdles to practice in some overseas countries. In the United States, for example, graduates from schools that are not accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education must complete an educational equivalency certification program.

Herrtage said the new veterinary school’s curriculum has been aligned with the skills and competencies required by the AVMA and the UK’s Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, among other professional standards bodies, to help graduates researching licensing routes in different countries.

Arguing that retention issues are causing a labor shortage in the profession, Herrtage said the new program is designed to give students “clinically relevant” and hands-on animal handling experience in its early years. “As you choose people who have good academic qualifications, it’s important that they can decide fairly quickly if they still want to be a vet,” he said.

Still, the bar for entry requirements, he added, has been kept relatively high. As an example, Hertagge said applicants from the UK would need passing grades of at least A on two so-called A-level subjects, such as biology and chemistry, and at least B on a third A-level subject.

Prospective students can apply directly to the University of Nicosia Veterinary School after high school. No other prerequisites are required and there is no entrance exam, although applicants must complete an eight-question online interview.

Students will be required to complete 12 weeks of extramural preclinical studies in the first two years and 24 weeks of extramural clinical studies in the final three years of the program. Construction of a teaching hospital is underway on site and is expected to be completed in two years, Herrtage said. He added that the university’s medical school, in addition to having on-site hospital capabilities, also partners with “an extensive portfolio of international clinical teaching sites” and that he expects the veterinary faculty does the same.

VIN News Service Commentaries are opinion pieces featuring ideas, personal experiences and/or views on current issues by members of the veterinary community. To submit a comment for review, email [email protected]

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