The RCVS has been accused of neglecting British students studying for veterinary degrees across the EU.

Chris Allen believes the RCVS could do more to engage with British students studying in the EU. Image © psdesign1 / Fotolia.

In the wake of the college outlining how it aims to meet the challenges and opportunities of Britain leaving the EU, Chris Allen said, as a British student studying in the EU, he and his counterparts felt abandoned by the RCVS.

“As a vet studying abroad, yes I do [feel neglected],” he said. “There needs to be a lot more information going out to vets [from the RCVS] and a lot more input from vets.

“At the moment, it is as if nobody knows what is happening and, when they do, it’s a one-way system. The RCVS has not tried to contact any British vets studying at universities abroad.”


Mr Allen, who is studying at The University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice, Slovakia, believes the college could do a lot more to communicate with British students studying abroad.

“The RCVS makes a big effort with the UK vet schools and gives them lots of support, but we are just kind of left until it is time to register,” he said. “We don‘t know anything until we see it in Veterinary Times or someone tells us. There could be better engagement.”

Mr Allen believes the college should take the initiative and make contact with EU vet schools to get in touch with UK students.


Responding, RCVS president Chris Tufnell said: “We sympathise with the anxiety and uncertainty that may be felt by UK nationals studying veterinary medicine in the EU, while the terms and conditions of the UK leaving the EU are still unclear, and we are sorry to hear this individual feels abandoned by the college.

“However, through our presidential taskforce on Brexit, we have been carefully considering the potential impact of Brexit, including on students studying veterinary medicine in EU countries.

“If these students graduate and register with the college between now and when the UK leaves the EU, the situation will be the same as now and, once on the register, they will remain so, unless they fail to pay or are struck off.”

Mr Tufnell also said if the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications directive is not retained, the college will continue to consider the options of accrediting EU schools itself or base its acceptance on European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education accreditation.

  • Read the full story in the 3 April issue of Veterinary Times.
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3 Comments on "British students studying in EU feel ‘abandoned’ by RCVS"

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Laura La-Page
2 months 29 days ago
As another British vet student in the same country, I disagree strongly. The RCVS has no need to contact personally people who chose to go abroad and study. Further, they have answered every email sent by students of this university promptly, politely, and offering as much information as they have. The Vet Times is a common place to get information from in this business, and as nothing has been decided, or even can be decided yet, I feel that the RCVS is doing the best it can for all vets and future vets, and have said that they will fairly… Read more »
Jane Davidson
2 months 28 days ago
Hi Laura, I agree. There are vet students across the world who intend to come and work in the UK once qualified. But they do not come under the RCVS umbrella until they approach them to enter the register. Students in Europe may have automatic rights to the MRCVS title but not all will want to use it. Everyone will be affected in the future. The information we have now will change so I feel, like many other agencies, the RCVS have shared what they know and not scare mongered people with plans or ideas that may or may not… Read more »
2 months 28 days ago

I’m not sure the RCVS has any responsibility to Mr Allan in this respect. It’s not immediately obvious why they would keep a record of vet students registered with non uk schools at all. Brexit will be messy, but it seems unfair to blame the RCVS for the resulting uncertainties


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