The Prince of Wales has officially opened Aberystwyth University’s School of Veterinary Science.
The Prince, a former Aberystwyth student, toured the new Veterinary Education Centre and spoke to some of the first cohort of students who began their studies in September this year.
A key part of Wales’ only School of Veterinary Science, the centre represents an investment of more than £2 million in new teaching facilities on the University’s Penglais campus.
Featuring brand new anatomy and study facilities, the centre was funded from alumni donations totalling £500,000 and the University’s own funds.
As part of the visit, The Prince signed the same visitors’ book that he signed back in 1969 while studying Welsh at Aberystwyth University.
After touring the centre, he unveiled a plaque to mark the official opening of the School. The Prince reminisced about his time as an Aberystwyth student in 1969 and said: “I have very special memories of that time and finding my way around Aberystwyth generally.
“I’m so impressed having seen what the school has done here and am delighted to have had a very small part to play in helping to open it.”
He added: “I do hope [the students] will have great success in the future and the school will flourish.”
The royal visitor was welcomed by the Aberystwyth University’s Chancellor, Lord Thomas of Cwmgïedd, and Vice Chancellor Professor Elizabeth Treasure together with the Royal Veterinary College’s Vice Principal for Learning and Assessment, Professor Adrian Boswood.
Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University said: “It was a privilege to join students, staff, alumni and special guests at the official opening today. Agriculture and its related industries play such an important part in the Welsh economy and it is incumbent on us as universities to provide the people and skills that will contribute to ensuring they thrive for years to come. The School of Veterinary Science adds a vitally important new piece of the jigsaw, one that will build resilience in the rural economy through education and research at a time of great potential change and challenges.”
The veterinary students will spend the first two years at Aberystwyth University followed by three years’ studying at the Royal Veterinary College’s Hawkshead Campus in Hertfordshire.
The programme covers the full range of animals, from domestic pets to farm animals, in common with all other veterinary programmes.
The new School builds on over 100 years of animal health teaching and research at Aberystwyth University, and more recently, the successful introduction of a BSc Veterinary Biosciences degree in September 2015.