Dutch veterinary nursing students have arrived on international placement at Pershore College to continue their development – and the college is committed to continuing the arrangement after Brexit.
The students attend the reputable Aeres MBO Barneveld school in the Netherlands and the school has been sending students to study in Pershore for more than 10 years.
Aeres MBO Barneveld, in the Gelderland province, is one of the oldest and most respected animal medicine schools in Holland and attracts students from all over the country. The school also has a ZOO-permit.
Around 30 students come over to study at Pershore College, which is part of WCG, each year – and the first cohort of 15 arrived this month.
They will be staying on a four-week placement, before returning again next year for another month-long intensive placement.
Due to proposed changes to the Erasmus+ programme, which is run by the European Union, the students could lose their bursaries for accommodation and food costs.
But both colleges are working closely together to ensure that the programme can continue after Brexit, and Pershore College are now looking into the possibility of sending students over to Holland too.
Philippa Gerrard, Head of Department for Sport and Animal Welfare at Pershore College, said: “The programme has been running between the two colleges for more than a decade and it is fantastic to welcome the students on the international programme.
“They come twice in two years, which includes intensive teaching of modules in the classroom and going out into veterinary practices to hone their skillset too.
“With the possible changes as a result of Brexit, we are currently working on a number of solutions to ensure we can keep this mutually beneficial arrangement going between the two colleges.
“The feedback we get from the students who come over is always fantastic, and we’re hoping to explore the idea of sending students to Aeres MBO Barneveld to study too.”
Hans Dekker, Veterinarian and Teacher at Aeres MBO Barneveld, added: “We have a great working relationship with Pershore College and are committed to sending our students to take classes there every year.
“It is a great experience for the students and helps them to grow as people, whilst also improving their understanding of another language and veterinary techniques.
“We could always send them over to Sweden or other countries to learn, but we have strong connections in the UK and want to keep coming there.
“There is a lot of trust between us and Pershore College, it’s a great relationship and we will do everything we can to stay in Pershore.”
Robin Tas, 19 from Druten, is one of the students who has been studying at Pershore College, she said: “When we come to study at Pershore we love the peaceful and natural environment.
We find Pershore College really welcoming. Being here in the UK enables us to learn the differences between veterinary nursing in the UK and the Netherlands.
“We get to experience different teaching methods, a new culture whilst improving our use of the English language.
“Whilst we are here, we make lots of friends and gain independent experience. It opens new opportunities for us, once we complete our qualification, we will be able to register as a veterinary nurse with the RCVS and work as a registered veterinary nurse in the UK.”
To find out more about veterinary nursing at Pershore College visit here.