The RCVS and the Veterinary Schools Council (VSC) have published recommendations on how support for Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) veterinary students can be improved.

The report is the culmination of the work of a joint RCVS and VSC BAME Student Support Working Group, set up to explore key issues in supporting BAME veterinary students during their studies.

The Working Group made a total of 14 recommendations, which included:

  • developing formal support and guidance documents for students going on placement and developing formal discrimination reporting mechanisms for students
  • ensuring all staff and students are aware of the new RCVS Accreditation Standards in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in teaching and placement settings;
  • providing guidance and training to university staff on handling discrimination complaints;
  • providing EDI training to university staff, students and placement providers to improve awareness of equality legislation – including rights and responsibilities – as well as other key concepts in EDI, such as micro-aggressions;
  • resource, support and collaborate with BAME student groups and societies to better understand experiences;
  • improve the visibility of BAME role models to create a more inclusive and positive educational experience for BAME students;
  • provide access to support and advice for BAME students through internal and external mentoring initiatives;
  • review and adapt the guidance on religious clothing and belief for use within local settings.

Stephanie-Rae Flicker is a recent Royal Veterinary College (RVC) graduate who co-chaired the Working Group alongside Professor Rob Pettitt from the University of Liverpool. 

She said: “I hope this encourages and supports our veterinary institutions to actively implement change regarding discrimination faced during studies and placements, nurturing role models and helping affected students develop sense of belonging and community during their studies and beyond.

"Many thanks to all that have contributed to the completion of this Report – we hope the recommendations have a lasting impact, and benefit those both already present and yet to enter our profession."

RCVS/VSC BAME Student Support Working Group Report.

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