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The rising cost of vet student debt

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Peter Wedderburn an Irish vet who writes for the Daily Telegraph has recently blogged about the increasing amount of debt today’s vet students are leaving university with. He refers to the latest survey conducted by the Association of Vet Students (AVS) and the British Veterinary Association (BVA) which shows that like all students vet students are now having to borrow more than ever to complete their degrees.
However with the length of the degree (5 yrs) and the workload (especially compulsory unpaid work placements) making it difficult to get paid work in the holidays, the financial burden is even greater. I raised this particular issue when I completed the survey, as I strongly believe that extra financial help is needed to support students during placements. Perhaps it’s time that the veterinary profession itself helped out by setting up a fund to provide bursaries to struggling students. Otherwise as Peter Wedderburn suggests a vet degree will soon only be viable for those with deep pockets.
clipped from blogs.telegraph.co.uk

As we had towards the end of the academic year, the latest crop of veterinary students is close to graduation. They’ll be coming out into a very different world to the one that greeted my own generation of young vets. As a veterinary student in the mid-eighties, I remember fellow students feeling aggrieved about the paltry support that we received from the government.

Of course, all our tuition fees were paid by the state – we took that for granted. We were also paid a means-tested subsistence allowance – from memory, it may have been something like £3000 per annum. Not enough to party on, but enough for survival.

Most vet students topped up their allowance by working on farms during holiday breaks, doing jobs such as assisting with lambing sheep, which doubled up as useful experience. The money earned allowed us to enjoy a social life that would have been otherwise impossible to afford.

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