The previous eight editions of VetEd were organised in the United Kingdom or Dublin, but this year the Netherlands will have the honour of hosting the 9th edition of the conference. Utrecht is a logical location for a veterinary education conference, as the university’s Veterinary Medicine study programme is one of the world’s best. The conference programme draws considerable international attention, and the organisers hope to use the event to create an even larger network around veterinary education.
The conference will take place on 5 and 6 July, and will focus on sharing ideas, innovations, research, and best practices in veterinary education. All of the participants are affiliated with the training of veterinarians in one way or another: education experts, lecturers, policy assistants and students. Most of the participants come from Europe, but there will also be some from other parts of the world, such as Canada, Australia, and Africa. Both the pre-conference event and the conference have already sold out due to overwhelming demand.
Pioneering study programme
The Veterinary Medicine study programme at Utrecht University is one of the world’s leaders in many areas. One of those areas is that of competency-oriented learning. University Lecturer and President of the VetEd organisation, Harold Bok, explains: “During their Master’s studies, students collect feedback from a variety of people at different moments and in different contexts into a portfolio. That gives them a clear idea of their own performance, and possible areas of improvement. The focus of competency-oriented learning lies on the development of relevant competencies, and feedback and reflection support that development.”
“The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is also innovative with regard to the implementation of programmatic testing”, Bok continues. “Programmatic testing aims to achieve a meaningful combination of learning and assessment. There are only a few institutes around the world that have implemented programmatic testing at such a large scale.” Bok tells that other health care study programmes are eager to learn from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine: “The need for the medical education sector to implement such a system is growing, so physicians are also interested in our approach.”
During VetEd, four renowned keynote speakers will make an appearance. Professor Cees van der Vleuten from the University of Maastricht will give a lecture on the meaningful combination of learning and assessment. In his presentation, Professor Jan van Tartwijk will deal with how we learn, and Professor Debbie Jaarsma will discuss the complexity and challenges of implementing educational innovation. And finally, Professor Wim Kremer will provide a glimpse behind the scenes of today’s veterinary education, and how it will change in the future.
The programme will consist of plenary lectures, workshops, short communications, and poster presentations. The interactive workshops will offer participants guidelines they can use to get started right away. The short communications will focus on presenting results of educational research. E-posters will share innovative ideas and best practices, and there will be plenty of opportunities for social activities and networking.
The day before the conference, Wednesday, 4 July, is the pre-conference event, where we will discuss a variety of topics, including testing, blended learning, welfare, and conducting medical educational research. Prof. Ollie ten Cate will give a special pre-conference workshop on Entrustable Professional Activities during the event.
If you would like to know more about VetEd, please visit: www.veted2018.nl.