The new academic year got off to a great start with our Orientation Week for almost 180 new students in the first week of September. MVB Graduate Entry students were welcomed to the UCD Veterinary Community on Tuesday 5 September, with MVB and BSc Veterinary Nursing students joining orientation activities on Thursday 7 September. The Dean, Professor Michael Doherty, welcomed both groups to UCD and congratulated them on their achievement of getting on to their chosen programme. Professor Doherty highlighted the levels of excellence achieved in the Vet School across a range of activities and areas, and also the fact that Veterinary Medicine is the highest ranked subject in UCD in the QS World University Subject Rankings. The Dean also spoke about the innovative curriculum development currently taking place in the School, and a number of development projects, including the new Clinical Skills Centre and CT and MRI installations in the Veterinary Hospital. The unique opportunities offered by the School for Vet and Vet Nursing students to engage in inter-professional educational activities were also highlighted to all new students.
The Dean encouraged our new students to get interested and get involved in what’s going on in the School, highlighting the excellent musicians and sports people across the student body – our historic rugby victory over the medics also got a mention! Other highlights of the Vet School calendar, including the Carol Service and the Dean's Clinical Club at lunchtime on Tuesdays, were also mentioned. The Dean finished by encouraging our new students to become part of the community of support, the comhluadar, being built in the School and reminded them that we have an open door policy here, with the School Office Team and Dr Niamh Nestor, our Student Adviser, always there to help out when needed.
Students also met staff from a range of areas across the School and University – including our Educational Technologist, Mark Carty, Carmel Norris from the Veterinary Library, Máire O’Reilly from the Clinical Skills Centre and Fr Leon Ó Giolláin from UCD Chaplaincy. The emphasis across the week was very much on the help and support available to students in the Vet School and across the University, and also the importance of communication. A range of orientation events were organised for new students in the School - everything from Health & Safety briefings to tours of the School, Hospital, Library and Campus, and visits to the Clinical Skills Centre and Lyons Farm.
There have been a number of events organised since the start of term to further introduce our new students to a variety of aspects of the School and University – assesment information sessions, student society events and coffee mornings to name but a few. For the first time this year, the School also organised a series of Welcome Evenings for first year students and their families; this was hosted by the Dean and organised by our Student Adviser, Dr Niamh Nestor. The students and their families were welcomed to UCD and the School, introduced to a range of key UCD concepts and terminologies, and they also received information on their programmes and supports available to students in UCD. Final year students came along to speak to the new students about their time in UCD and their experience of the Vet School. Students and parents found the sessions to be both informative and interesting and very positive feedback was received from all involved. It’s been great to see so many new faces around the School over the past few weeks and we look forward to getting to know all of our new students in the coming months.