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25-06-2010 - Female students continue to dominate veterinary schools

Female students continue to dominate veterinary schools

23 June 2010

Less than a quarter of veterinary students starting their degrees in 2009 were male (24%), according to figures released in RCVS Facts, from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

This is up slightly from 23% last year, but down from just over 30% in 1999: ten years before that, the gender balance of new students was approximately 50:50. Meanwhile, 53% of UK-practising veterinary surgeons are female.

RCVS Facts is part two of the RCVS Annual Report, and presents a statistical picture of the veterinary and veterinary nursing professions. Other headline facts include a 21% increase in the number of practice premises registered with the College since 1 April 2009, bringing the total on the Register of Veterinary Practice Premises to 4,821; some 766 veterinary nurse students completing their training and becoming eligible to register (an increase of 28% compared with those eligible to register during the previous two-year period) and an increase of nearly 10% in the number of complaints received about veterinary surgeons, to 739.

Figures are also available for:

  • New membership admissions and veterinary nurse registrations

  • A break-down of the veterinary profession: gender, age, geographic distribution, type of work

  • Type of complaints received and the time taken to act upon them

  • Disciplinary cases

  • Postgraduate qualifications awarded this year

  • Financial accounts

The reporting year is 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010, and part one of the RCVS Annual Report, RCVS Review, takes a more personal look at the activities of the College during the period, through the eyes of some of those involved. Topics include reviews of Extra-Mural Studies and the Practice Standards Scheme, the modular Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing producing the first diplomates, a focus on mental health and wellbeing, fund-raising for the RCVS Trust and the College’s joint work with other authorities to bring justice in cases of fraudulent ‘veterinary surgeons’.

Both publications are available online at: and


For more info, please contact:

Lizzie Lockett (020 7202 0783 /
Head of Communications, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons


The RCVS is the regulatory body for veterinary surgeons in the UK and deals with issues of professional misconduct, maintaining the register of veterinary surgeons eligible to practise in the UK and assuring standards of veterinary education. It also has a ‘Royal College’ role, which means that it is responsible for post-graduate educational and veterinary nursing qualifications.

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