Flemish government puts cap on veterinary students

Flemish government puts cap on veterinary students
Photo by Werzk Luuu on Unsplash.

Only 240 students will be accepted into Flemish programs for veterinary medicine in the academic year 2023-2024, following the advice of an expert committee.

The veterinary programmes have been overwhelmed with a large number of students, especially ones coming from abroad, and many graduates struggle to find work in the field as a result.

“We are limiting the quantity to guarantee the quality,” said Flemish Minister of Education Ben Weyts.

An entrance examination is also being added, and the 240 slots for med students will be allocated through the numerus fixus system used by doctor and dentist programmes, meaning students won’t only have to pass, but will also have to be among the 240 best candidates.

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At the University of Antwerp (bachelor) and the University of Gent (bachelor and master), the number of students in veterinary medicine is increasing enormously, sometimes up to 100%.

Because Flanders was until now the only European region without an entrance exam for candidate veterinarians, they saw a large influx of foreign students, especially from the Netherlands due to the shared language.

“With the introduction of an entrance exam, we safeguard the quality of the training, by intervening on the quantity,” said Weyts.

“We now guarantee that all starting students have the necessary basic competences and the training itself can now be planned better, including the internships. The training can only benefit from this.”

The exam and related cap come into effect in the academic year 2023-2024. The Flemish Government can adjust the quota in later years if needed.

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