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J Vet Med Educ. 2017 Fall;44(3):440-449. doi: 10.3138/jvme.0316-062R.

Curricular Renewal at the Southern Tip of Africa: The 2016 Veterinary Curriculum at the University of Pretoria.


Four years after the institution of a new curriculum at the University of Pretoria's Faculty of Veterinary Science, a second major curricular renewal was initiated as a result of several pressing drivers, many of which were unique to the national and institutional context. During the project, South African higher education was disrupted by student protests prompted by financial pressures on students, the overt colonial structure of higher education, and the need to accelerate transformation of the sector. A structured curricular renewal process was followed, including the laying down of the principles, the structuring the macro-curriculum as a story, the design of a meso- and micro-curriculum, and the mapping of the curriculum to Day One outcomes. The resulting program is a 6-year bachelor's degree with a blend of discipline and species modules, with the first cohort graduating in 2016. There is a strong focus on skills embodied in a 62-week experiential component, managed using a unique custom-designed online platform for booking placements, documenting exposure, assessing competency, and providing feedback to students. The experiential training includes a large elective component. Several causes of loss of impetus during the process are discussed and proposals are made for avoiding these. The value of accreditation as a driver and a source of inputs is evident. The process has succeeded in producing a significantly reshaped curriculum that has been well received by external stakeholders.


2016 BVSc; University of Pretoria; climate; curriculum; transformation; veterinary curriculum renewal; veterinary medical education

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