Hill's Pet Nutrition

March 17, 2010 04:00 ET

Nottingham Veterinary Students Get Help From Hill's

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - March 17, 2010) - Aspiring vets studying at The University of Nottingham will be helped to fulfil their ambitions thanks to a £30,000 donation from Hill's Pet Nutrition.

Undergraduates at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science – the UK's newest vet school – will be able to get financial help over the next three years from a fund set up by Hill's. The donation will be doubled over that period through the UK Higher Education Match Funding Scheme, making a further £30,000 available.

Veterinary students are particularly vulnerable to financial difficulties because they have more years of study to fund but less time for part-time and vacation work.

The intensive course comprises more than 32 hours contact time per week, over a five-year course which is up to 34 weeks long per year. During vacations, students are required to undertake a minimum of 38 weeks of EMS Extra Mural Studies (EMS), which should normally consist of 12 weeks animal husbandry and 26 weeks of clinical placements – this is the equivalent of three additional terms., Accommodation, travel and subsistence during EMS is not taken into account by the Student Loans Company.

More than two-thirds of students feel unable to work to supplement their income, according to a survey. A 2008 survey of veterinary students concluded that one in three students find themselves in a difficult or severe financial situation, and anticipated that debt on graduation for veterinary students will reach £29,400.

Professor Gary England, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, said: "We are extremely grateful for Hill's visionary funding, as it will provide much-needed student support."

"The Nottingham course has talented students from a wide variety of backgrounds, including over 35 per cent from non-traditional widening participation backgrounds. It's vitally important that all our students are not disadvantaged financially and can achieve their potential."

Adrian Pratt, Vet Affairs Manager for Hill's UK, commented: "We've known for a while that the debt burden on vet students is growing, so when the Vet School approached us with the idea we leapt at the chance to help out. We have a long history of supporting veterinary education and we are proud to be able to help the next generation of vets achieve their ambitions."

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