Published: 17 Oct 2016 | Last Updated: 10 Aug 2023 11:30:51

Over the weekend, The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) celebrated its 225th birthday and the myriad of developments and achievements that have taken place over the centuries.

The RVC is the oldest veterinary school in the English-speaking world, and the creation of the RVC, in 1791, marked the establishment of the veterinary profession Britain. Over the centuries it has continued to lead the way in veterinary practice and science.

Starting out as a horse infirmary with a handful of students, the RVC has become a world-class science-based institution, producing internationally renowned veterinarians and scientists. It is also at the forefront of the education and training of veterinary nurses.

The diverse undergraduate and postgraduate programmes offered by the RVC attract students, researchers and clinicians from around the world. The RVC’s hospitals are global leaders in veterinary medicine and care, and RVC veterinary experts receive referrals from across the UK and beyond.

To mark 225 years and celebrate the heritage of veterinary and scientific education, the RVC invited alumni back to attend a programme of events for the weekend of October 15 to 16. These included a gala dinner on Saturday and an Open Day and Campus Tour on Sunday.

Sunday’s activities included displays focusing on the history of the RVC, talks, a film screening and an ethical debate.The ethical debate related to the balance between business and welfare in all aspects of veterinary work. There were events for staff at both the Camden and Hertfordshire campuses on the Friday to mark the RVC’s birthday.

Commenting on the 225-year birthday, RVC Principal Stuart Reid said: “It is a great honour to lead the RVC, which has achieved so much over the centuries, within this era of so many exciting breakthroughs. The RVC has always looked beyond the horizon to make advancements in science and practice, for the benefit of patients and communities globally, yet it is crucial to also recognise the essential contributions of those who have gone before. The early pioneers and those who followed them played essential roles in the evolution of both veterinary and human medicine and the advancement of science.”

Professor Reid added: “As we celebrate 225 years as a world-leading institution, we honour all who have worked and studied here through the centuries. Our current advances in knowledge are built on the efforts of all who have been part of the RVC through the centuries. By acknowledging this heritage, we also reflect on how efforts being made today by researchers, practitioners and students have long-term implications for animal health and welfare globally.”  

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Notes to Editors

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK's largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a constituent College of the University of London. The RVC offers undergraduate, postgraduate and CPD programmes in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and biological sciences, being ranked in the top 10 universities nationally for biosciences degrees.  It is currently the only veterinary school in the world to hold full accreditation from AVMA, EAEVE, RCVS and AVBC.

A research-led institution, in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) the RVC maintained its position as the top HEFCE funded veterinary focused research institution.

The RVC also provides animal owners and the veterinary profession with access to expert veterinary care and advice through its teaching hospitals; the Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital in central London, the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (Europe's largest small animal referral centre), the Equine Referral Hospital, and the Farm Animal Clinical Centre located at the Hertfordshire campus.

RVC Press Release 17 October 2016

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