From August 2016, SRUC will run the two full-time courses at the Oatridge Campus in a building newly converted into a specialist veterinary nursing facility. The students will get to work regularly with live animals. Currently the students only get to work with animals when they go on placements outside the college, and use simulations of animals on the campus.
SRUC will take on up to 170 students on the two-and-a-half year Level 3 Diploma Veterinary Nursing and the one-year Level 2 Diploma Veterinary Care Assistant. Veterinary Nursing students transferring partway through their course will continue their studies as normal.
It is proposed that all nine Edinburgh College staff members on the programmes – including lecturers and support staff – will transfer to SRUC Oatridge.
To ensure staff, students and partners are closely involved in the process and the new facilities meet their needs, Edinburgh College is carrying out a consultation with them.
SRUC acting chief executive Janet Swadling said: "Bringing together the veterinary nursing provision from Edinburgh College and SRUC is a key part of the Scottish Strategy for Land-based Education, which aims to encourage greater engagement with industry to ensure employment needs are met. The enhanced provision run by SRUC as Scotland's specialist land-based higher and further education provider, will help meet that need.
"SRUC is delighted to be working with our partner Edinburgh College, in the transfer of students and staff, and we look forward to welcoming them for the next academic year."
Edinburgh College’s vice principal for curriculum and quality, Ray McCowan, said: “Our veterinary courses at Edinburgh College are really successful, with excellent completion and employment rates, and they’re oversubscribed. But with our partners at SRUC we identified an opportunity to give students an even better learning experience than they receive at the moment.
“Working with live animals more regularly in great facilities at the college itself will give them greater insight and practical skills, which will make sure the veterinary industry is supported to deliver what it needs to our communities.
“We appreciate that this is a change but we’re doing everything we can to make it as seamless as possible, and we believe the significant improvement in training makes the switch a really positive move.”