Strengthening Veterinary Education worldwide is a key to the sustainable improvement of public and private sector components of Veterinary Services (VS), the quality of which is a global public good.
With the objective to safely feed the planet in this era of globalization, all countries depend on the performance of their VS to successfully implement their animal production, aquaculture and food safety policies, and for effective prevention and control of biological disasters. Veterinarians, as the professionals who are responsible for this important mission, should be well trained not only for animal health and welfare, but also for veterinary public health. This includes the veterinary contribution to food safety and zoonotic disease control, the importance of which is reconfirmed by the recent occurrences of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, the Ebola epidemic and avian influenza, which all brought serious consequences to human health.
In October 2009, the OIE organised a benchmark 1st Global Conference on Veterinary Education, “Evolving Veterinary Education for a Safer World,” in Paris, France. The Conference addressed inequalities and shortcomings in veterinary curricula worldwide and identified the need for the development of minimum competencies expected of all graduate veterinarians in all countries in both private and public components of the VS [programme and recommendations]. In response to the recommendations adopted at the Conference, the OIE convened an ad hoc Group on Veterinary Education in 2010 with the support of selected VEE Deans from the five continents.
The 2nd Global Conference on Veterinary Education was held in Lyon, France from 13 to 14 May 2011, as one of the major events of the "World Veterinary Year," marking the 250th world anniversary of both veterinary education and the veterinary profession. The Conference participants endorsed the work of the OIE on the recommended core (minimum) curriculum to address day 1 competencies, emphasized the role of VSBs and encouraged the OIE to develop the concept of twinning in the field of veterinary education [recommendations].
The 3rd OIE Global Conference on Veterinary Education and the role of Veterinary Statutory Bodies was held in Foz de Iguazu, Brazil from 4 to 6 December 2013. Attended by more than 1000 international participants, including representatives of VSBs, deans of VEEs and OIE Delegates from 110 countries, the Conference addressed the need for better quality and harmonisation of veterinary education worldwide, and the essential role of VSBs in supporting better veterinary education and regulating veterinarians and veterinary para-professionals to ensure professional quality and ethical standards are maintained [programme and recommendations].
Following one of the recommendations adopted at the 3rd OIE Global Conference, an OIE global list of Veterinary Education Establishments (VEEs), has been established based on information provided by Member Countries.
With the valuable contribution of the Kingdom of Thailand, the 4th OIE Global Conference on Veterinary Education was held in Bangkok on 22–24 June 2016. The main objectives of the conference were firstly to review the state of play of implementation of previous conference recommendations on the core curriculum, and secondly to exchange on teaching practices which may offer a better way of educating future veterinarians. The OIE is grateful to have completed another successful conference with many participants from all over the world (click here) for more information about this conference).