Applications for the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) 2021 Summer Schools, including the RVC Sutton Trust Summer School, are now open for students in Year 10, Year 11 and Year 12. The outreach team is calling for those who meet the Widening Participation eligibility criteria to apply for the opportunity of gaining experience of what it is like to study animal science careers including Veterinary Medicine, Biosciences and Veterinary Nursing.
Taking place between July and August 2021, the three RVC Summer Schools offer students first-hand insight into what it is like to study at the internationally renowned RVC. As part of this, participants will get involved with online lectures, virtual practical demonstrations, and question and answer sessions with world-leading researchers. This year, the RVC also hopes to be able to welcome each of the participants to campus for at least one day to gain hands-on experiences across its animal hospitals, Clinical Skills Centre, laboratories, and farm.
Following the success of last year’s Summer School, which was the first to be hosted online due to the pandemic, 91 per cent of participants surveyed either agreed or strongly agreed that the Summer School made them feel more confident about applying to university. Additionally, 91 per cent of respondents felt like they would fit in at the RVC after taking part.
Varying from two to five days experience, students were able to meet current RVC students and professionals, take part in online lectures, virtual dissection demonstrations, team projects and social activities led by RVC Student Ambassadors including a pet show and tell, an escape room and lockdown Zoom quizzes.
Reflecting on the 2020 Summer School, one student, Kaya, said:
“I found the lectures and videos fascinating and enjoyed learning about new topics such as animal handling. I also feel much more confident in my career goals, as before the summer school started, I was unsure if I wanted to be a vet or vet nurse, but now I have decided on veterinary nursing.”
Reflecting on their child’s experience of the 2020 Summer School, one parent said:
“My daughter has really enjoyed attending. This is the start of her childhood dream to be a vet and I can see her enthusiasm has grown this week thanks to you. Even before she started you sent her some items to help her in the sessions, she was over the moon.
“I’d like to extend my utter gratitude to you and take this opportunity just to say thank you all so very much.”
Both the RVC Summer Schools (for Years 10 and 11) and RVC 2021 Sutton Trust Summer School (Year 12) are part of the RVC’s Widening Participation Scheme which was established to support young people who are under-represented at the RVC on their journey to studying animal science. The RVC runs a range of programmes for young people from low-income backgrounds, areas with low participation in Higher Education, and targeted groups such as care experienced young people, asylum seekers, or young people from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Nina Davies, Director of RVC Access and International Engagement, said:
“We are so proud of the success our Summer Schools have had in engaging students from the widest possible range of backgrounds and providing them with an experience that may encourage them to study with us. We work hard to ensure students from underrepresented backgrounds have equal access to the RVC, feel welcome here and able to achieve their goals.
“I would like to encourage any young budding animal enthusiasts and prospective vets out there, to take part in one of our Summer Schools this year; it is a wonderful experience for young people seriously considering a future in animal sciences.”
The RVC has a long history of running Summer Schools and has hosted the RVC Sutton Trust Summer School since 2013. This year it will offer 60 young people from underrepresented backgrounds the chance to take part.