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    New teaching and learning partnership announced between Harper Adams University and Veterinary Medicines Directorate

    Posted 20 March

    The Harper Adams labs at dusk

    A new partnership will ally the teaching of leading specialist University Harper Adams with the expertise of the UK Government’s Veterinary Medicines Directorate.

    The VMD and the University already have an established and strong working relationship in the space of training and development, which the new partnership will extend. The two organisations share interest in animal health and veterinary sciences and in addition they share a desire to achieve excellence in education, albeit in different contexts. 

    Today, March 20, sees the launch of a new collaboration as Harper Adams provide a bespoke online module for colleagues at the VMD with a focus on teaching and learning practices.  

    The online module will be led jointly by Jane Headley Principal Lecturer in Academic Practice, and Lydia Arnold, Professor of Learning and Teaching. 

    It will have a particular focus on teaching techniques, global perspectives, technology for learning and learning from each other in a professional community of practice. 

    The programme will involve online and in-person learning, and the sharing of approaches.  

    It will be supported by expertise from across Harper Adams as expert speakers and facilitators add specialist input on topics including inter-cultural communication, active learning techniques, and learning through peer observation.   

    Harper Adams was awarded TEF Gold in 2023 – the highest level of recognition for its teaching quality – and it has been awarded World Leading Teaching status too. The university has a vibrant and varied system of support for staff who teach and support learning, which has led to them providing support for colleagues internationally. 

    The VMD protects animal health, public health and the environment by assuring the safety, quality and efficacy of veterinary medicines. Responding to a growing demand for training, the VMD Training Centre, led by Dr Alison Pyatt, aims to develop a comprehensive and accessible portfolio of professional training to support the needs of veterinary medicine stakeholders both in the UK and internationally.  

    At the national level, the VMD Training Centre has introduced highly sought-after training programmes for veterinary professionals. Internationally, the VMD has developed a series of eLearning programmes and offers tailored capacity building training for regulatory bodies overseeing veterinary medicines. Additionally, recognising the need for a robust talent pipeline in veterinary regulatory affairs, the VMD is supporting the development of a professional postgraduate qualification in veterinary regulatory affairs. This initiative aims to improve human resource availability, support skill enhancement, and raise awareness of regulatory affairs as a career pathway.  

    With a commitment to continuous improvement, the VMD is delighted to partner with Harper Adams University.  

    Ali Pitfield, VMD’s Training Centre Project Coordinator and partnership lead, said:“The VMD Training Centre is dedicated to providing quality training that best supports industry and those in the veterinary profession to perform their roles safely and ethically while meeting their legal obligations.

    "Our collaboration with Harper Adams University will support our experts to deliver high-quality professional training and set a benchmark for excellence. We view this partnership as a great opportunity to exchange best practices with Harper Adams University, ensuring that our training programmes remain accessible and meet the needs of our stakeholders.” 

    Professor Arnold, who is also Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning Teaching and Digital) added: "We are delighted to partner with the VMD and provide this learning opportunity. The work that colleagues at VMD do to train and update others with scientific and technical knowledge is critically important, and the reach of this training is truly global. 

    “With that in mind, our focus will be on critically exploring methods of supporting learning that are effective in different international contexts.” 

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