Published: 01 Jun 2020 | Last Updated: 01 Jun 2020 10:00:27

Results from the Sutton Trust’s recent UK Summer Schools University Comparison Report have highlighted impressive results from The Royal Veterinary College’s (RVC) Summer School.

The RVC scored top marks across several categories, including 100% of students stating that they will apply to the university where they attended the Sutton Trust Summer School.

The Sutton Trust’s analysis compares survey responses across all 13 UK universities offering Sutton Trust summer schools. The report focuses on rates of strong agreement to 16 key questions asked at baseline, midpoint and exit, and to seven questions included on the exit survey only.


Statements ranged from students’ plans following school/college, different aspects of university life, how well-informed students feel about financial aspects of attending university and preparedness for applying. In almost every category, the RVC’s Summer School percentage score increased from baseline to exit, with 83% of students stating by the end of the residential that they felt confident about applying to a highly selective university (up from the 21% baseline). 90% of students also felt confident about making a university application for their Summer School subject (up from the 43% baseline) – demonstrating the effectiveness and positive impact the RVC’s summer school had on students.

Results from the exit survey found that 100% of respondents said they enjoyed attending the Summer School, that staff and ambassadors were approachable, and they enjoyed the social activities on offer. 93% of students also said:

  • The academic sessions were engaging
  • Content was pitched at the right level
  • Attending the Summer School has given them the skills needed to navigate the Higher Education application system
  • Attending the Summer School will help them make more informed decisions about post-school options


The RVC has a long history of running Summer Schools and has hosted the RVC Sutton Trust Summer School since 2013. Each year, the RVC’s Widening Participation Team selects 50 students from disadvantaged backgrounds, based on several criteria, to join the summer residential.

Across the five days, students are given the opportunity to take part in a range of activities and sessions held at both the RVC’s Camden and Hawkshead Campuses, as well as its Queen Mother Animal Hospital and Bolton’s Park Farm. Each day students are exposed to a mix of first-hand experience and introductory training as well as seminars on preparing for various aspects of university life and the courses on offer at the RVC.

In the RVC’s own evaluation report, key findings highlighted the Summer School’s effectiveness in informing students of the broad range of careers that work with animals outside of becoming a veterinary surgeon, supporting students to better understand their options and helping them feel confident when applying to university.

Reflecting on the 2019 Summer School, one student said: “I have a better insight into my career of choice, I have made new friends. Overall, I believe the Summer School has made me more confident about my future and applying to university.”

Kate Oliver, Outreach Development Manager at the RVC said: “We are thrilled to hear these stunning results from our Year 12 Sutton Trust Summer School 2019, just as we plan the Virtual Summer Schools for 2020. We work hard to ensure students from underrepresented backgrounds have equal access to the RVC, feel welcome here and able to achieve their goals. We are so proud to know that 49% of our Easter & Summer School participants receive an offer to study at the RVC.”

Professor Stuart Reid, Principal of the RVC said: “The RVC’s work with the Sutton Trust is an enormously important part of what we do, engaging with students from the widest possible range of backgrounds and providing them with an experience that might encourage them to study with us. It is hugely rewarding to receive such positive recognition from the Trust for the work of our Widening Participation Team and to know, both from the young participants and from our own admissions figures, that the relationship we establish with them has a positive impact on their ambitions and, ultimately, on their futures.”

Sir Peter Lampl, Founder and Chairman of the Sutton Trust, said: “Over the past few years, our summer schools at the RVC have given hundreds of young people from across the UK the opportunity to change their life. Many of our alumni have gone on to study at leading universities and to jobs in veterinary medicine.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with the RVC. The RVC offers great quality so it is no surprise to see this reflected in the views of our summer school students.”

Notes to Editors

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About the RVC

  • The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK's largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a Member Institution of the University of London. It was the first in the world to hold full accreditation from AVMA, EAEVE, RCVS and AVBC.
  • The RVC is the top veterinary school in the UK and Europe, and ranked as the world’s second highest veterinary school in the QS World University Rankings by subject, 2020.
  • The RVC offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and biological sciences.
  • In 2017, the RVC received a Gold award from the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) – the highest rating a university can receive.
  • A research led institution with 79% of its research rated as internationally excellent or world class in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
  • The RVC provides animal owners and the veterinary profession with access to expert veterinary care and advice through its teaching hospitals and first opinion practices in London and Hertfordshire.

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