The University of Nottingham’s veterinary school has announced it has “out-performed” the UK’s other six schools in a survey of veterinary students.

The survey – carried out by the Association of Veterinary Students (AVS) in the final term of the 2012 academic year – was completed by 2,106 of the country’s 4,578 vet students – a 46% response rate. It aims to compare personal background, financial support and the quality of the degree course as well as welfare, widening participation and the role of the AVS.

According to the survey findings, respondents from Nottingham’s vet school – which, in 2006, was the first school to open in 50 years – were more positive about “every single aspect of the course” than the other six schools:
 

  • 96.2% of Nottingham students rated basic clinical skills teaching as good or excellent against an overall average of 65.4%;
  • 96.3% of Nottingham students considered the balance between lectures and practicals to be good or excellent compared with an overall average of 65.6%; and
  • quality of practicals was considered good or excellent by 94.1% of Nottingham students compared with 74.2% of respondents across all vet schools.

Foundation dean of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science Gary England said: “This is a fantastic achievement by all our staff and academics. In some categories, we have not even gained any below average ratings. We have helped to change the way veterinary medicine is taught in Britain and this survey shows we have the support of our talented and hard-working students.”

AVS president 2013 Nick Wojciechowski said: “The University of Nottingham is a newly designed and purpose-built veterinary school, so clearly has some advantages over longer established institutions. However, it appears it outperforms the other vet schools in every single comparison that is made.

“This ranges from the extramural studies outside the university and structures to the course structure, content, balance and quality. The establishing of a new vet school with such favourable feedback from students should provide other universities with an opportunity to review and learn from what they are offering.”

Nottingham’s teaching programme was also awarded “full recognition” of the innovative degree course — the highest accolade by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, in 2011. The school has also scored top marks for overall student satisfaction in both the 2011 and 2012 National Student Surveys.

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