A veterinary student has become what is thought to be the first UK undergraduate in the field to receive a teaching award from a major national higher education body.
Lauren Krueger, a final-year student at the University of Edinburgh, has received an associate fellowship from the Higher Education Academy (HEA), recognising her contribution to education and learning in veterinary medicine.
She is also thought to be the first undergraduate in Scotland in any academic field to receive the award.
The associate fellowship, awarded to those who have met the appropriate standards in teaching and supporting learning in HE, is usually presented to academics further on in their careers, such as early career researchers.
Ms Krueger is one of 115 students working towards an undergraduate certificate in veterinary medical education (UCVME), an optional programme that runs in conjunction with her main degree. As part of the course, students have visited local schools to boost their teaching skills and inspire pupils to consider scientific careers.
Ms Krueger, who completes her studies in May, said she was keen to continue working in veterinary teaching and research.
“I’m interested in utilising my degree in an educational or research-based capacity and the experience gained through this certificate has helped transform me into a more effective and efficient educator capable of instruction both within and outside the veterinary profession,” she said.
Neil Hudson, course leader, said he was “delighted” that Ms Krueger’s “outstanding commitment” has been acknowledged by the HEA.
“A key responsibility of veterinary professionals is the education of students, clients and colleagues and the certificate is a great way to formally recognise the important role that students play in teaching,” he said.
Edinburgh’s UCVME is the first in the UK to formally champion vet students as teachers.