Riley Brandt, University of Calgary
May 16, 2019
UCalgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine granted $7.2 million from province to expand program
The Alberta government is investing $7.2 million in the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) to help meet the increasing demand for veterinarians across the province.
In a short period of time, the University of Calgary has established a school of veterinary medicine that is ranked among the top 50 in the world. This increased funding from the provincial government will allow more Albertans to study and train in their home province, as well as ensure that we meet the growing needs of rural and remote communities,” said Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, president and vice-chancellor, University of Calgary.
- Photo above: Taking part in the announcement at the University of Calgary were above, from left: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Dean Baljit Singh, Provost Dru Marshall, Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt, student Elizabeth Riddett, and President Elizabeth Cannon.
“I know that the future of this program is bright, and that our entire province will benefit from the program’s expansion.”
Starting in 2020, and continuing for the next three years, UCVM’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program will increase first-year enrolment from 30 students to 50. By 2023, when all four years are combined, the provincial government will be funding a total of 80 extra students across the program.
New state-of-the-art equipment, surgery and lab space
More teaching, laboratory and student spaces are needed throughout the Spy Hill campus to support the expansion of the program. The additional $7.2 million one-time funding will cover a wide range of capital costs including state-of-the-art equipment, an expanded surgery suite and new laboratory space. As well, to accommodate extra students, facilities such as locker rooms, kitchenette and student study and wellness spaces will be expanded.
All this is good news to students like Elizabeth Riddett, UCVM Class of 2020. "Our program allows us access to world-class instructors, and offers a great mix of in-class learning, and real-world experience,” said Riddett. “Increasing enrolment will provide more students in Alberta the same great opportunity and learning experience that I’ve had.”
- Above: Minister Schmidt learns about what's known as the "tail pull," part of diagnostic testing for equine neurological disorders, during his tour of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine facilities.
More funding for Alberta's veterinary college means more local veterinarians serving Albertans
Increasing the number of students trained in Alberta is also good news for animal owners, who will benefit by improved access to quality veterinary care.
"As Alberta's veterinary college, UCVM is strongly committed to the community of livestock producers, horse and pet owners in our province,” said Dr. Baljit Singh, dean of UCVM. “This investment helps increase our capacity to graduate local veterinarians to support this diverse community. We thank the Government of Alberta for its continued support.”
The grant will also help fund collaborative programs with institutions and veterinary clinics across the province. More students and communities throughout Alberta will benefit from the program’s community-based practicum model, which connects veterinary students with rural practices to meet labour market demand and strengthen Alberta’s agricultural sector.
“Our government has focused our support on this Alberta-based program so that our communities, our agricultural sector and our province can prosper, now and in the future,” said Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt.