BVA calls for vet students to be exempted from immigration targets

Animal Health/ Animal Health surgeon news

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has urged the government to exclude overseas veterinary students from any future immigration targets.

In a joint paper submitted to the Migration Advisory Committee, the BVA, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and Veterinary Schools Council have put forward several recommendations on the post-Brexit future of non-UK citizens studying at British vet schools.

“The British Veterinary Association has called for the government to exempt overseas veterinary students in the UK from immigration targets.“

It was suggested that including student numbers in the government's overall immigration target would add to the downward pressure on the number of vets able to come to the UK from abroad, with the professional bodies also noting that vets who qualify in the UK should be able to remain here to live and work after graduation.

Additionally, the paper called for any required increase in the number of UK-national veterinary graduates that might result from a reduction in overseas students to be properly funded, as international students currently make a disproportionate contribution to the finances of veterinary schools.

John Fishwick, president of the BVA, said: "Fulfilling the demand for vets, following the departure of the UK from the EU, will be essential to maintain animal health and welfare, public health, food safety and trade."

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