Published: 08 Jun 2016 | Last Updated: 08 Jun 2016 18:00:34

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has received an award for Excellence in Faculty Development from leaders in healthcare education around the world. It is the first time a veterinary school has won the award.

The ASPIRE to Excellence Awards are open to medical, dental and veterinary schools internationally. The awards were initiated by the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE), which is the largest medical educator association in the world.

The ASPIRE programme is led by a board of distinguished leaders in medical, dental and veterinary education, supported by AMEE and working with other organisations with an interest in medical education.

Explaining the significance of the awards, the AMEE said in a statement: “There are publications and popular magazines that rely heavily on research productivity to rank order and recognise excellence in universities and medical schools. Missing, however, has been the recognition of excellence in teaching.

“To fill this omission, leaders in health professions education around the world have designed, developed and delivered the ASPIRE initiative under the auspices of AMEE. Using accreditation-like standards of excellence, ASPIRE recognises medical, dental and veterinary schools that excel in assessment of students, student engagement, social accountability of the school and faculty development.”

The Aspire Board found that the RVC “demonstrated excellence in designing faculty development specifically targeted on those in veterinary medicine”. It was also impressed by the breadth of development opportunities in which many members of the College participated, including the “pathway to a master’s degree in education for interested individuals”. The Board also praised the way the faculty development team was engaged internally, as well as being “active in presenting these educational innovations to audiences world-wide”.

RVC students in the College's dissection lab
RVC students in the College's dissection lab

Welcoming the award, RVC Deputy Principal Professor Stephen May said: “We are delighted to see our teacher development programmes recognised in this way. Like all the veterinary schools in the UK, we have worked hard on our curriculum, and its delivery, targeting student engagement and skills development, as well our assessment methods, over the last 20 years. However, the most important factor in high quality education is the quality of those responsible for its delivery.”

He added: “The creation of our discipline-focused portfolio of teacher development opportunities has been a 10-year project, to support the initial and further develop of our team of confident, capable teachers, to ensure our students receive an excellent learning experience. This is one of the longer term outcomes of our HEFCE funded Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, LIVE, and I am proud of the way the RVC community has worked together to achieve that vision.”

The RVC will be presented with the ASPIRE trophy in August at the AMEE 2016 International Conference in Medical Education in Barcelona. 3,500 teachers and leaders in healthcare education from around the world will be present at the conference.

Press Office Contact

Uche Graves / Zoe White
T: 0800 368 9520
E: uche.graves@plmr.co.uk / zoe.white@plmr.co.uk

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 College 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.

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