|NEW ZEALAND'S EDUCATION
The Government has given funding approval for a 20 per cent increase in the number of veterinarians New Zealand can produce to meet growing national and international demand from the agrifood sector.
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce approved an increase in the number of domestic places in Massey University's Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree from 84 a year to 100. It takes effect for the next intake at Massey's Manawatū campus in June.
The students will be selected for the professional part of the programme, which begins in semester two each year, after first completing the required entry papers in semester one.
Veterinary programme director Professor Tim Parkinson says the increase comes at a time when the demand for veterinarians worldwide is high.
“The veterinary profession remains a net growth sector, with increasing awareness of the inter-relationship between animal and human disease, increased numbers of livestock to produce food for the increasing population, and a general increase in people’s expectations about the health and welfare of animals.
Professor Parkinson says alongside veterinary teaching, the university also holds a strong position worldwide in animal welfare, infectious diseases, epidemiology and livestock system research.
“Perhaps because of these strengths of the Massey degree, its veterinary graduates are snapped up by employers. This is reflected in the recent QS international rankings for university courses, which placed Massey’s veterinary graduates as the most highly employable in the world – ahead of many larger and older schools.”
In addition, the vet school will enrol up to 24 full fee-paying international students each year, depending on demand and providing they meet the strict course intake requirements, which are among the toughest in New Zealand education.
Massey embarked on a big expansion and redevelopment of its veterinary teaching facilities two years ago. Facilities in the companion animal and equine hospitals have been refurbished to meet higher standards demanded by international accreditation agencies and to accommodate larger classes. The ongoing developments include new teaching laboratories scheduled for completion in 2017.
The veterinary programme, offered since 1963, is the only one in New Zealand, and is ranked by QS 15th overall in the world for veterinary science and number one with employers.
It is accredited by the Australasian Veterinary Board Council the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. It was the first veterinary programme in the southern hemisphere to achieve all three. The degree is also recognised through reciprocity by the South African Veterinary Association.