Vet student Lauren scores top honour

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An Edinburgh vet student with exceptional teaching potential has been honoured by a leading higher education body.

Lauren Krueger is thought to be the first undergraduate vet student in the UK to receive an Associate Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy.

The final year student at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies has been recognised for her contribution to education and learning in vet medicine.

The Associate Fellowship is normally awarded to academics further on in their careers.

Lauren is thought to be the first undergraduate in Scotland in any field to receive the prestigious award.

She is one of 115 students working towards an Undergraduate Certificate in Veterinary Medical Education at the university’s vet school.

The optional three-year programme, which runs parallel to Lauren’s main degree programme, is the first in the UK to formally champion vet students as teachers.

As part of the course, Lauren and her fellow students have been visiting local schools to boost their teaching skills and inspire pupils to consider scientific careers.

Some of the visits have involved bringing a staff dog called Juno into class to allow pupils to learn more about caring for canine patients.

The first 28 students on the programme are set to complete their certificate in May this year.

Lauren hopes to continue her work in veterinary teaching and research following completion of her degree.

She said of her award: “I am really pleased to receive this Fellowship.

“I’m interested in utilising my degree in an educational or research-based capacity and the experience gained through this Certificate has helped transform me into a more effective and efficient educator capable of instruction both within and outside of the veterinary profession.”

Course leader Dr Neil Hudson said: “I am delighted that Lauren’s outstanding commitment has been acknowledged.

“A key responsibility of veterinary professionals is the education of students, clients and colleagues and the Certificate is a great way to formally recognise the important role that students play in teaching.”

The Royal Dick Vet – the vet school assosiated to Edinburgh University – is one of the world’s top facilities of its kind.

Originally called the Highland Society’s Veterinary School, Edinburgh, the Dick Vet, as it came to be known, was established by William Dick, a former student of the anatomist John Barclay of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

In the New Year’s Honours list, Prof Susan Rhind, who is professor and chair of veterinary education at the school, was awarded an OBE for services to veterinary education.