Vets fight five years of fees

January 30, 1998

LONDON University veterinary students are fighting government plans to charge tuition fees for all five years of their degree.

James Clappison, Conservative MP for Hertsmere, has taken up the students' case, tabling six questions in the Commons in a bid to draw attention to their plight.

Members of the students union at London University's Royal Veterinary College are furious that new veterinary students will have to pay tuition fees for all five years of their degrees, while medical students have effectively been let off paying for the fifth year which will instead be paid for by the Department of Health. The students fear it may deter all but the wealthiest from studying to be vets.

Sally Schroeder, president of the students union at the Royal Veterinary College - which has one of its sites in Mr Clappison's constituency - said:

"We are trying to highlight that vets increasingly work with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. MAFF paying tuition fees for one year is an option."

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is backing the students. Its education committee met Department for Education and Employment officials before Christmas. David Noakes, chairman of the education committee, said that with plans for a new Food Standards Agency, vets will have important roles in maintaining food hygiene.

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