Federation of Veterinarians of Europe
Education
Undergraduate Veterinary Studies

Veterinary Schools

To become a veterinary surgeon, students need to complete an intense 5 to 6 year study at a veterinary teaching establishment. Europe has around 100 faculties were you can study with different admission criteria to see the different Veterinary Schools go to Europe's veterinary schools.
The umbrella organization for the approximately 100 veterinary teaching establishments is the European Association of the Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE). It's mission: to develop veterinary education and enhance co-operation between the establishments.

"Automatic" mutual recognition

Within the EU, mutual recognition of veterinary diplomas has been established by law. This means that EU citizens, who have obtained their degree and the right to practice in their country of residence, may also practice in other Member states without the need for any exams. At the basis of this "automatic" mutual recognition lies the Directive 2013/55/EC amending the Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications and Regulation (EU) No 1024/2012 on administrative cooperation through the Internal Market Information System (IMI) on the recognition of professional qualifications.

This Directives provides a listing of the subjects that have to be taught within the veterinary curriculum, however member countries are left to define how these subjects should be implemented into their curriculum.

Trends: more students, differentiation and feminisation

Veterinary degree programs within the European veterinary schools usually takes five to six years for completion. With curricula intensifying and a growing need for more extended practical training the time for completion is now tending to be longer.

The available knowledge and techniques in the veterinary field are increasing rapidly, and many schools are now considering or have incorporated a differentiation (tracking) of their veterinary degree. Tracking provides a means for students to concentrate on certain areas of veterinary medicine, while others are studied to a lesser extent.

All over Europe, there are growing number of women entering veterinary school and they now represent 70% to 90% of the new graduates. A negative perceived by some is that women appear to favor a choice for veterinary careers with companion animals or horses and there is a growing perception of a need to compensate for shortages developing in other critical areas.

The overall number of young veterinary graduates in Europe is also rising rapidly (see study EAEVE 2005). The student uptake has increased and many new schools have been established in recent years. A possible saturation, even overpopulation of the professional market has lead to an increased competition between veterinarians, but this has also favored the diversification and specialization of the profession.

School accreditation

"FVE is concerned about the large number of schools which appear to have major deficiencies. Some EU countries don’t even have one approved school
Jan Vaarten, FVE Executive Director June 2007

In order to verify that veterinary teaching establishments satisfy the necessary criteria (as defined in Directive 2013/55/EC amending Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications and Regulation (EU) No 1024/2012 on administrative cooperation through the Internal Market Information System (IMI)), an evaluation system is operated by EAEVE and FVE. Almost all veterinary schools in the EU have at least once been visited and evaluated. The purpose of this system has been to ensure a comparably high standard of veterinary training throughout Europe. In 2007, it was decided to go from an evaluation system to a two-step accreditation system.

The latest update of the evaluation of veterinary establishments for veterinary education in Europe is available on the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE) website.