Harper Adams and Keele universities have confirmed plans to establish a joint veterinary school, set to take its first students in 2020.
The vet school will offer a five-year programme, leading to a degree in bachelor of veterinary medicine and surgery which will be accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
It has been championed for reaching out to young people within the rural communities of Staffordshire and Shropshire to offer opportunities which are currently unavailable in the area.
Dr David Llewellyn, vice-chancellor of Harper Adams University said: “After nearly a year of joint planning, both university governing bodies have strongly endorsed the proposal to create a joint veterinary school.
“Two major considerations for the Harper Adams Board were that the new school will aim to widen access in this subject area and that, importantly, it will further support the UK’s agricultural sector as it faces a period of major change when the UK leaves the European Union.
“Harper Adams has a successful history of working with the agri-food industry and our teaching and research specialisms in agriculture and animal sciences will complement Keele’s established track record in the fields of life sciences and medicine.”
Professor Jonathan Wastling, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of Natural Sciences at Keele University, said: “The decision allows us to move forward with delivering this ambitious and pioneering project which will enhance business and local development opportunities.
“We have been working extremely closely with the industry from day one and will focus our attention on developing a Veterinary School which produces highly-skilled and adaptable graduates, who are well equipped to deal with the challenging and rapidly changing landscape of the modern veterinary profession.”