Regs for non-US Vet Schools Effective July 1 2015

Accreditation of schools outside the US and Canada has been a point of bitter discord in the veterinary profession.  There are now 14 such schools in nine countries around the world.  The USDE has a new set of regulations for non US veterinary schools going into effect July 1 2015.  These regulations... 

...have to be satisfied by July 1 in order for a non-US school's US students to be eligible for US federal student loans. They are separate from, in addition to and dependent on the non-US school being accredited by the AVMA.

The new regs are purportedly modeled after the guidelines used by the NCFMEA, the USDE body that oversees non-US medical schools. This opens the door for the USDE to have some oversight of the quality and rigor of veterinary educational programs that US students attend.  While the AVMA can accredit schools in any location, without these additional regulations the USDE can only consider the oversight AVMA provides to US schools. These regulations also open the door for non-US accreditors such as RCVS to provide this oversight.

Concern is frequently expressed that accrediting schools outside the US will flood the job market, resulting in unemployment for good US citizens, our own children who stayed home to attend one of our fine publicly funded land grant institutions.  

Two points:

The majority of these graduates are US citizens who attend school in the Caribbean and return to the US to practice.  

Out of 5,354 total NAVLE tests taken in the 2013-2014 school year, only 495 were outside of the US and Canada

That's not really flooding the market, eh? Especially when we consider many of those could well be US citizens- who would have been coming onto the US veterinary job market regardless of where they went to school.  If anything, access to foreign schools might help the oversupply here, as students make ties in distant professional communities, and gain access to jobs and professional networks in other countries.

A last point, this one about the new regulations.  Just as the schools in the Caribbean have to make public more and more relevant financial data under Gainful Employment regulations because they do not accept public funding, these new regs require much stricter oversight of schools using the distributive model outside the US than is provided for US schools using the distributive model. These regs call for every single clinical site to be visited by the accrediting agency for non US schools.

Looks to me like non-US schools are becoming the student's better choice; we know more about them, have more and stricter quality assurance measures for them (potentially provided by objective third party accreditors) ... plus their participation in the market put significant competitive pressure on US schools to increase quality and lower cost. 

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commented 2015-02-02 00:32:50 -0500 · Flag
I agree wholeheartedly. It is sad the amount of debt Vets come out of school saddled with. Maybe if US schools were forced to be more competitive there would be more Vets working for publicly funded agencies aside for the private sector.
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