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09-01-2008 - The veterinary and other ‘sectoral’ professions face common concerns  

The implications of the Bologna declaration on the ‘sectoral professions’ (architects, dentists, doctors, lawyers, notaries, pharmacists and veterinarians) were discussed at a meeting held on 8 October. Organised by the European University Association, representing 800 universities in 46 countries, the meeting was attended by
representatives of all professional and academic organisations of the professions concerned.
Veterinarians were represented by Marcel Wanner, of the European Association of Establishments of Veterinary Education (EAEVE) and Nancy De Briyne, FVE Deputy Executive Director.
The dominant view (doctors, dentists, architects, veterinarians) was that the long integrated qualification should be retained, for a number of reasons: there is no evident demand from students or employers for large-scale access to the labour market after a 3-4 year Bachelor programme; any compromise of health and safety must be resisted and there is a danger that the Master component of a 2-cycle qualification will not attract public funding.

A main concern for sectoral professions was the introduction of the new Committee of recognition of professional qualifications, replacing the previous Advisory Committee, which left “far too little room for professional input”, according to Nancy De Briyne.
Participants found that even though the Bologna declaration is intended as a tool for the harmonisation of the European area of higher education, it has actually increased disparity in Europe.
In addition, FVE expressed its concern related to the number of veterinary faculties that have been evaluated and found deficient of the minimum training requirements and the inactivity of the Commission to follow this up. The Commission representative at the meeting advised to start an official complaint procedure.

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