Widening Veterinary Outreach to the Scottish Highlands and Islands

Widening Veterinary Outreach to the Scottish Highlands and Islands: A model for the development of widening access engagement in remote and distant locations.

School: Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Team Members: Neil Hudson, Sally Anne Argyle, Brian Mather, Fraser Murdoch, Patrick Pollock, Susan Rhind


Widening participation is a key priority for the R(D)SVS and the UoE. It is estimated that there is a shortfall in current UK vet numbers. The Highlands and Islands is an area the School is keen to develop their outreach; this would diversify the student intake but also have the long term goal of providing veterinary graduates capable and willing to go into practice in these areas. We aim to develop veterinary educational outreach learning resources that can be used remotely in areas local and distant to Edinburgh. We want to know what resources work best and why.

Resources (real and virtual) will be developed and piloted in schools locally and afar in the Highlands and Islands. Stakeholders (vets, teachers, pupils) will be surveyed around the impact of these pilots; evaluation will incorporate a mixture of quantitative and qualitative approaches. The project team will carry out the investigation, developing and piloting of outreach resources. With a fine-tuned application of pedagogical and technological solutions we aim to provide an inspiring and thought-provoking outreach programme. The team has contacts in practices in the region (including Tiree, Harris and Lewis) and strong links with the Scottish Government’s Highlands and Islands Veterinary Services Scheme.

Although by necessity embedded within the context of veterinary education, we anticipate that results will have relevance to other disciplines including Medicine and Agrifood.  The funding will be used to purchase materials and develop remote learning resources eg virtual e-learning methodologies that will allow distant leaders to lead events.