Pet society

Decision looming on UCLan’s latest pet project – a 900-student veterinary school on the City of Preston campus

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Plans to build a veterinary school at the heart of the growing Preston campus will be recommended for approval when presented to the city’s planning committee.

The university says it is launching its latest companion animal project to address an acute shortage of vets across the country – and particularly in the North West. The numbers here would be down 11-13%.

Part of the school will be housed in a new four-storey block on land currently used as parking adjacent to the Greenbank building.

What the new School of Veterinary Medicine would look like (Image: UCLan).

If approved at next Thursday’s committee meeting, work should begin almost immediately. UCLan says it aims to have 64 veterinary students enrolled by next year, growing to 470 in 2028 and more than 900 at full capacity in 2029/30.

In a report to the committee, advisers will be told that the project “will place UCLan in a group of only 11 universities in the country which provide specialist teaching and research in this field.

“There is currently a significant employment need in the veterinary industry, particularly in the North West of the country where there is an 11-13% shortage of qualified vets, so the proposal will help fill that job.” The proposal would not only provide clear educational and employment benefits to UCLan students, but also provide social benefits to the general public by providing more qualified veterinarians to meet the needs of the population. .

Planners say the new school, the first in Lancashire, would partner with local, regional and national employers ‘to improve academic and graduate outcomes and meet the needs of employers across a range of veterinary and animal science industries’ .

The new department could have over 900 students by the end of the decade (Image: UCLan)

“Integrating postgraduate opportunities with education and employment will establish a strong population of veterinary graduates in the North West, an area affected by the national shortage of veterinary surgeons.”

The designs for the new veterinary school are described as reflecting “contemporary buildings establishing university character in the surroundings while providing a gateway design.”

The building would be the latest to be added to the expanding Preston campus, following the Engineering Innovation Center and Student Center which were both recently added to University Square.

‘The project will only provide the second veterinary school in the north of England, so it is a significant development not only for the city of Preston but also for the region,’ the planning report adds.

The veterinary school could have its first pupils as early as next year (Image: UCLan).

“This opportunity provides UCLan with a high social value project offering vets the opportunity to train where supply is currently extremely limited, benefiting the region with locally trained vets, resulting in additional supply for society at large.

“Selected staff seek to enhance this by delivering a program based on high ethical value, where the animal experience is considered from the outset through increased use of technology and adoption of teaching techniques and modern, state-of-the-art learning.”

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