VSANZ is pleased to announce the release of the report ‘Rethinking veterinary education: Securing Australasia’s future in biosecurity, food production, One Health and animal welfare’. The report was prepared by a panel of three eminent veterinarians led by Dr Helen Scott-Orr AM PSM.

The report can be downloaded here.

The report makes 25 recommendations, addressed variously at veterinary schools themselves, their universities, accrediting bodies, veterinary professional associations, and governments.

The review panel was appreciative of the many submissions made to the review, and the generous time and sharing of ideas by those groups who were interviewed in person. Views were many and varied, with little consensus on how to address challenges.

Amid this lack of consensus, the panel strived to reach a position on the key issues to allow it to shape a coherent set of recommendations. Any differences of opinion from those of submitters to the review were respectfully held.

VSANZ thanks the panel for its thorough and insightful review. VSANZ has accepted the report and has started to work with its partners in the veterinary profession and the higher education sector on implementing the recommendations.


Documents for download

Download the Report

Download the Review Terms of Reference

Download the Discussion Paper

Terms of reference

VSANZ commissioned a comprehensive review of veterinary education in Australia and New Zealand. The review addressed the following questions:

  1. What are the key skills, knowledge and attributes that veterinarians will need in the next decade? How can accrediting bodies, the profession, Australasian universities and governments work more effectively together to ensure that students leave veterinary schools equipped with transferable competencies needed for long and successful careers as veterinarians, as well as take account of the continued financial pressures faced by universities to sustain high-quality veterinary science programs?
  2. Looking ten years out, what are the key challenges and opportunities that veterinary schools in Australia and New Zealand face in terms of their responsibilities to educate and train their future veterinary workforces? What needs to change to ensure the schools can address the identified challenges and take advantage of the opportunities over the next decade? Specifically:
    • What opportunities are there for structural reform to make Australasian veterinary schools financially sustainable? What have been the key learnings from the disruption to veterinary schools caused by COVID-19?
    • Is there a place to develop a new kind of professional Australian and/or New Zealand veterinary qualification, which has modularisation/specialisation (e.g. companion animals, livestock, equine, poultry, exotic) options – whether at an early or post-primary-qualification stage – focused on the requirements of the nation? If so, how should this be achieved?
    • Can we make changes of the kind described above and still retain the ability of Australia and New Zealand to contribute to a global, mobile veterinary workforce with mutual recognition of qualification and freedom of movement, that is, to continue to attract overseas students and practitioners?
  3. How strong is the research performance of Australasian veterinary schools in the global context? What is the nexus between a veterinary school’s research capability and its capacity to educate veterinarians suited to the modern workforce? What could be done to optimise the education / research mix of veterinary schools?

The full Terms of Reference for the review can be downloaded from the link above.


The review was conducted by an expert panel comprising:

– Dr Helen Scott-Orr AM PSM (Chair) – former Chief Veterinary Officer of NSW, Hon. Associate Professor University of Sydney and Australian Inspector-General of Biosecurity.

– Professor Grant Guilford – former Head of the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University and Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington, current Chair of the New Zealand Veterinary Association.

– Professor Susan Rhind– Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Chair of Veterinary Medical Education and Director of Veterinary Teaching at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh.