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New veterinary skills centre set for the north-east

By David Porter

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Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has announced it is investing £850,000 to create a top-of-the-class veterinary clinical skills teaching centre in the north-east.

Opening in September, the ten-room Veterinary Clinical Skills Centre at SRUC’s Craibstone campus will feature dedicated spaces for hands-on experience with cutting-edge equipment, a clinical skills laboratory and animal disease diagnostics laboratories.

It will also feature a mock veterinary practice including a consultation room and pharmacy.

An artist's impression of the new veterinary centre at Craibstone
An artist's impression of the new veterinary centre at Craibstone

Digital technology will connect the Veterinary Clinical Skills Centre through 360-degree cameras, video streaming and touchscreen displays to other SRUC campuses and remote learners.

The centre will be fitted out with the latest technology to support veterinary skills teaching.

The Veterinary Clinical Skills Centre will be open for the start of the 2021-2022 Academic Year.

This will coincide with the first Craibstone students working towards a degree in veterinary nursing, a programme which is also taught at SRUC’s Barony campus near Dumfries.

Similar investment in digital technology is planned for Barony to create opportunities for students across SRUC’s campuses to learn together.

More than 100 students each year will study and learn at the centre.

The centre will also deliver short courses to veterinary professionals and paraprofessionals at weekends, during the evenings and summer breaks to create a hub for veterinary professional development for the whole region.

Caroline Argo, Dean of SRUC’s North Faculty said: “Our new Veterinary Clinical Skills Centre will offer one of the best experiences for students of veterinary nursing and other animal-related programmes across the country.

"Rural veterinary practices are vital for farming and rural life and they face challenges when it comes to finding veterinary nurses and support teams.

"By focussing on the development of talented new professionals for rural practices, our graduates will have the skills, knowledge and opportunities for long, successful and fulfilling careers.”

The Veterinary Clinical Skills Centre has been designed by Aberdeenshire firm MAC Architects in partnership with SRUC’s staff and students.

Located next door to SRUC Veterinary Services laboratories and new animal care handling facilities, the Veterinary Clinical Skills Facility will create a hub for veterinary clinical skills and animal care in the North of Scotland.

The centre follows the recent announcement of new equine facilities for Craibstone, also due for completion in September, and recent investment in student welfare facilities at Tulloch Farm.

With student numbers growing, SRUC is looking for veterinary practices from across the North of Scotland to provide placements for students. This will help practices find new talent for veterinary assistant roles and support the wider profession.

To find out more about courses available at SRUC, visit www.sruc.ac.uk/study

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