CityU’s Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine programme, the first dual accredited veterinary programme in Asia
Accreditation from the two foremost regulatory bodies for veterinary surgeons in the UK and Australia/New Zealand has been uniquely secured by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) for its six-year Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (BVM) programme offered by the Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences (JCC).
Dual accreditation from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) in the UK and the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC) is an exceptional achievement.
No other Asian BVM programme has been accredited by two of the world’s major regulatory bodies for veterinary education.
With dual accreditation, JCC is now the leading vet school in Asia. At the same time, CityU is the first university in Hong Kong to introduce veterinary medicine and practice the pioneering concept of One Health, recognising the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health. CityU has collaborated with Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, US, since 2009 to establish Hong Kong’s first six-year BVM. The first batch of students were admitted to the programme in 2017.
“Dual international accreditation is a testament to the high standards and quality of our veterinary programme,” said Mr Lester Garson Huang, Chair of the CityU Council. “It attests to our commitment to providing students with a world-class education and ensuring they are well-prepared to meet global standards. This recognition sets a new benchmark for veterinary education in the region. It reinforces CityU as a leading institution and positions Hong Kong as a centre of excellence in veterinary medicine.”
President Freddy Boey of CityU said accreditation would have a highly positive impact on local and regional communities, helping to improve animal welfare and public health. “Our freshly trained veterinarians can now go out into the world and pursue their careers, serving as ambassadors for the whole University. This recognition makes CityU an attractive destination for talented students and faculty seeking exceptional veterinary education opportunities,” he said.
Professor Vanessa Barrs, Dean of JCC, said: “The combination of dual international accreditation and our strong collaboration with Cornell University demonstrates that the JCC is well on the way to transforming Hong Kong into an international hub for training and research in One Health, especially in animal welfare, aquatic animal health, emerging infectious diseases and food safety.”
She added: “Our veterinary programme aligns tightly with the needs of society, training expert health care professionals who will advance animal health and welfare. With the increasing emergence of zoonotic diseases, such as COVID-19, the BVM also equips future veterinarians with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively address global health challenges.”
Professor Lorin Warnick, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, congratulated CityU on achieving this major achievement. “Reaching these international accreditation standards speaks to the quality of the programme. It shows that its graduates will be on equal footing with colleagues from many other parts of the world. We are confident and excited to see how the graduates’ careers will develop and their impact on society as practising veterinarians or in other veterinarian careers,” he said.
The rigorous accreditation process examines the organisation of the institution and the availability of adequate finances, physical facilities, equipment and academic staff to support the course; the procedures and policies for student admissions; and ensuring the curriculum complies with local and international requirements and that the methods of instruction and course content will produce a competent professional at graduation.
Professor Ching Pak-chung, Chairperson of the Veterinary Surgeons Board (VSB) of Hong Kong, said, “I congratulate CityU on achieving accreditation for its BVM programme by the AVBC and RCVS. This is a very important milestone in the development of the veterinary profession in Hong Kong. As a result of the accreditation, the VSB will include CityU’s BVM programme as a recognised veterinary qualification for the purpose of registration as a veterinary surgeon in Hong Kong. We will also start processing applications for registration received from CityU BVM graduates, with results expected in October 2023 at the earliest.”
The first cohort of BVM students will graduate in October 2023. Ms Gabrielle Ho, one of the BVM graduate representatives, praised JCC and CityU. “We experienced all kinds of roles as vets, working in typical small animal clinics, studying large animal cases, visiting food processing factories, and even treating aquatic animals,” said Gabrielle, who plans to work with small animals and aquatics. “A high faculty-to-student ratio lets us form closer relationships with our teachers,” she added.
CityU’s veterinary expertise is developing rapidly. In addition to CityU Farm, a centre of dairy excellence that opened in 2022, the new Jockey Club One Health Tower will provide state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities for JCC.
The news about the successful accreditation was announced at a press conference on 25 September at CityU. In attendance were Mr Huang, President Boey, Professor Barrs, JCC Faculty members and graduates, and Professor Warnick, who delivered his speech via a pre-recorded video.
For RCVS' press release, please click here.