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Cornell assisting in the creation of a veterinary school in Hong Kong

cityulogoCornell University and The City University of Hong Kong have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish terms of collaboration for the creation of the first veterinary medicine academic program in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR). Under the prospective collaboration agreement, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine would provide in-depth and ongoing advice and guidance to City University in the planning, establishment, operation, and evaluation of the new School of Veterinary Medicine, with the goal of securing international accreditation in the future. The School will offer a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine degree, granted by the City University of Hong Kong. Cornell University and City University expect this School to serve as an international center of excellence in veterinary medicine in Asia. The international collaboration is motivated by a growing awareness of the need to develop strong programs in veterinary public health as a response to the increasing global threats of zoonotic diseases and of outbreaks of food and water-borne diseases.

The School of Veterinary Medicine will be housed at new and renovated academic and small animal clinical facilities on the City University of Hong Kong campus as well as leveraging other supporting farm and large animal clinical facilities within the Hong Kong SAR. Plans are underway to develop a food animal and regulatory medicine clinic in mainland China, which would serve as a satellite teaching facility. When appropriate and possible, City University’s BVM students may also participate in specialty training at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, NY.

“Cornell University has a long history of innovation in veterinary medicine,” said Michael I. Kotlikoff, Cornell’s Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine, noting that Cornell granted the first Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in the United States in 1876 to Daniel E. Salmon, who became the first US“Chief Veterinary Officer” at the US Department of Agriculture and who identified Salmonella, which bears his name. “We are proud to have the opportunity to assist an international partner in the development of a model program that will meet ever-increasing societal needs to protect animal health, relieve animal suffering, conserve livestock resources, promote public health and advance modern medical knowledge. This partnership has great potential to improve the quality of life for animals and people and shape the future direction of veterinary medicine.”

The proposed project, already endorsed by City University’s Management Board and Faculty Senate, will provide veterinary education at the highest international standard. All courses will be in English and will include the full breadth and depth of veterinary education adopted at the world’s leading institutions of veterinary education. City University of Hong Kong is seeking funding from Hong Kong sources to support the program.

“The proposed School will position City University as the regional centre for the training of top level graduates to meet local and regional demand, as well as a centre for excellence for academic research, professional advancement, and the sustained elevation of practice standards to promote public health, animal care, food safety and food production industry in the region,” said City University’s President, Professor Way Kuo. The proposed School will further enhance City University's capacity to contribute to human welfare and knowledge creation through its premier professional education.

The plan is to receive the first class of 30 students at School of Veterinary Medicine in 2012, increasing the student class size to 50 by the time the first graduation takes place.