Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences

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Newspaper coverage of the College and its BVM programme

6 April 2018

The College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences and its Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (BVM) programme featured in several Hong Kong newspapers recently.

Articles appeared in ‘The Standard’, “Metro Daily’, ‘Sing Tao Daily’, ‘HK01’, ‘Ta Kung Pao’ and ‘Wen Wei Po’.

The articles introduced the BVM programme as Hong Kong’s very first Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine programme and reported that the six-year, self-funded programme had received over 300 applications last year and applicants included DSE students, bachelor degree holders, and doctorate degree holders. The first cohort of 12 students started their studies in September 2017.

All five reports covered the personal stories of some of the students, including details of their encounters with animals and their experiences, which led them to pursue the BVM programme. There was wide coverage of one student’s story about her brother getting food poisoning from eating a raw slice of whale meat, another student‘s first DIY autopsy attempt on her pet turtle, and yet another student’s abandonment of her career in finance to pursue a second degree in Veterinary Medicine.

The students said that the BVM programme did not simply cover pet care but also enlightened them in areas such as animal ethics and animal welfare. Thus far, their experience of their first term of study has led them to reflect on issues such as animal rights and animal testing. The students have taken a few field trips including visits to Kadoorie Farm, Ocean Park, a pig farm in the New Territories, CityU’s small animal veterinary clinic and Goldfish Street (Tung Choi Street). They will have an opportunity to spend five weeks at Cornell University in New York this summer for an internship.

While the reports mentioned that the first cohort of veterinary students attained a median GPA of 34 for their DSE exams, the students actually believed that their interview performance was more important in scoring them a place on the programme. To offer advice to prospective students, one student suggested that applicants learn about animal rights related issues to form their own opinion as well as gain some experience with animals. Another student suggested that applicants should pay more attention to animal-related news including zoonotic diseases.

Prof. Michael Reichel, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences, said that the school will be increasing its admission quota to 20 students this year, and that annual tuition fees will be $120,000. He said the school has received 100 applications onto its 2018/2019 programme so far, and on the topic of admissions interviews, he said that applicants will be asked about their reasons for pursuing veterinary medicine, and their personal experiences etc. He said the university has made a submission to the University Grant Committee in the hopes that the BVM programme will become a government-funded programme by the 2019/2020 academic year. While this is their third submission for funding, he feels quietly confident about the university’s progress.

The full articles can be accessed here:

HK01: Top-scoring DSE student witnessed brother getting food poisoning from raw whale meat, gave up medicine for veterinary medicine, and rethinks animal rights
Metro Daily: Hong Kong’s first vet medicine program teaches students to love animals
Sing Tao Daily: Student rethinks animal rights, gave up medicine for veterinary medicine, brother got food poisoning from raw whale meat during family trip to Japan
Ta Kung Pao: BVM programme first cohort: provokes reflection on life
Wen Wei Po: Top-scoring student chose veterinary medicine over medicine, paid attention to animal rights despite objection from family
The Standard: Getting closer to funds vetting
The Standard: Animal life story is hard listening