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