Assessment report is suspended by election

April 11, 1997

THE GENERAL election campaign is preventing publication of a quality assessment report of Edinburgh University's veterinary school until after a long-awaited visit from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

The Scottish Higher Education Funding Council was due to publish its quality assessments on veterinary medicine this week, which would have allowed the school to present the report during the RCVS visit at the end of this month. The RCVS, which decides whether an institution's degrees can be registered, enabling its graduates to join the professional body, made its last visit to the university in 1989.

But SHEFC will not now publish the quality assessments until after the election. This follows Cabinet Office guidelines requiring government departments and public bodies to suspend or curtail most of their publicity work during an election campaign. A SHEFC spokeswoman said that delaying publication until after May 1 would "allow the reports to receive appropriate attention".

Morley Sewell, dean of Edinburgh's faculty of veterinary medicine, said: "We were disappointed about the delay. A great many people worked hard on the assessment visit. We hoped to have the results in time for the periodic visit of the RCVS. However, we are confident about the quality of our teaching."

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