By Adam Blakeman, Keele University Press Office.
A new multi-million pound veterinary school building has been officially opened at Keele University.
The building is already home to hundreds of students who are benefiting from its high-quality facilities as they train to become the next generation of veterinary professionals.
Featuring brand new anatomy and clinical skills laboratories, the building, which hosts students of the Harper and Keele Veterinary School – a joint venture with Harper Adams University – also boasts modern teaching facilities, a lecture theatre, and break-out areas for group study.
The development, which signals an investment of around £20 million in the University’s campus and Staffordshire, was officially opened by Professor Lord Trees, the only vet in the House of Lords and former President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. And after touring the facilities, Lord Trees said: “If the building, the staff and the students are anything to go by, I think the graduates from this school will be absolutely fit-for-purpose.”
Training the next generation of veterinary surgeons
The Harper and Keele Veterinary School is one of the UK’s newest veterinary schools, and welcomed its first intake of students in 2020. Combining the medical and life sciences expertise on offer at Keele University, with the agricultural and animal science pedigree of Harper Adams, students at Harper Keele Vet School benefit from a unique blend of expertise combining academic and practical experience.
Professor Matt Jones, Head of the Harper and Keele Veterinary School, said: “The building is a wonderful home for us at Keele. It is an exceptionally well-designed space in which to work and study as well as to engage with the wider local and regional communities.
“We have started to host conferences too, showcasing the innovative areas of our work, and highlighting the importance of research and knowledge exchange in veterinary education. Along with a diverse range of colleagues at Keele, the building ideally complements the facilities and expertise at Harper Adams, providing us with a very rich environment for veterinary education.”
Some of the most up-to-date facilities in the UK
Professor Jonathan Wastling, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Keele University, said: “We are excited to open this high-quality building for our veterinary students who are already benefiting from these excellent facilities. Together with the state-of-art farm animal and veterinary education centre at Harper Adams, the Harper and Keele Veterinary School offers some of the most up-to-date and comprehensive facilities for veterinary education in the UK.
“The building will also provide a physical environment to enable us to work closely in partnership with the veterinary industry on the latest innovations in veterinary education and research.”
Student Melissa Field, who is in the second year of a five-year course, said: “I have a love of animals and I’m really interested in learning about science, sustainability and research, so this is a profession which combines all of those really well. The building is fantastic and we feel very lucky to be learning in such a modern and well-equipped facility. On my second day here we were already putting what we had learnt in a lecture into practice, and you can’t beat that practical integration compared to just sitting in a lecture theatre.”