Enabling access to the veterinary professions

Reanne (Veterinary student at UoL), Craig (a Veterinary Nurse from Liverpool), and Faheem (a former UoL student who is now a graduate Vet)

The University of Liverpool is working to support the diversity of the veterinary professions as part of the national collaborative project ‘Vet Team in a Box’.

Working with a range of partners including the Royal Veterinary College, the University of Surrey, the British Veterinary Association and the British Veterinary Nurse Association, the University of Liverpool is engaging with schools and colleges across the UK to encourage young people to consider the profession and demystify some of the barriers to it.

Liverpool has taken a leading role in the design and delivery of the project and in seeking feedback from schools and colleges.

The group has developed a key stage 3 session which can be delivered in schools as a complete lesson. In this, students are provided with a scenario to support a farmer in protecting her herd of cows. Through this scenario, students use their problem-solving skills, as well as mathematics, analytics, critical thinking and team work to decide upon a solution. The network has received support from real role models, including a Liverpool Veterinary student and alumni.

The programme will be launching in late November, prior to which the team will showcase the initiative at the London Vet Show and the Advancing Access teacher conference.

The University’s Widening Participation Team has worked in collaboration with the School of Veterinary Sciences throughout the process and have been vital to the planning, development and delivery of the initiative. The box will be hosted by the University of Loughborough, who run ‘subject in a box’ lessons to schools and colleges nationwide.

Dr Hannah Hodgkiss-Geere, Director of Student Recruitment in the School of Veterinary Science and Vet Team in a Box project lead said: “I am so excited to be able to bring Vet Team in a Box to fruition. There was a huge need for accessible resources to engage with future veterinary professionals, and also support their teachers, careers advisors and carers. There is a lot of misinformation being given to young people about careers in the profession, and greater support for our underrepresented groups is needed. This is the first step in the Vet Team in a Box project, and I am very proud of its production and how hard the whole team has worked on getting it to this stage.”

Once the project has been launched through schools and colleges, there are plans to develop a second box, aimed at primary school children or a different skill/ subject area.

Vet Team in a Box is sponsored by pet insurance company, Many Pets.

For more information please contact Hannah Hodgkiss-Geere or Victoria Brooks.