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International Vet Exchange Program (IVEP)

- Achieving Global Standards of Excellence in Veterinary Education -


Expertise in veterinary medicine is required in a wide range of fields. It is indispensable not just to prevent health hazards and socioeconomic losses caused by the ever-increasing threat of emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, including zoonotic diseases, transboundary animal diseases that spread rapidly across national borders, and antimicrobial resistant pathogens that are posing a global threat. Veterinary knowledge and skills are also essential to maintain sound living environments, such as global ecosystems, and to ensure food safety and security, such as food safety in relation to the import and export of livestock products and stable global food supply through the enhanced productivity of livestock products. On top of all this, the need for advanced veterinary therapeutics is rising due to a global change in views on the lives of companion animals (pets). In this way, veterinary expertise is needed in a wide variety of fields, and the development of veterinarians, in particular, who can work globally within an international framework (namely, international veterinary professionals) requires the internationalization of education aimed at fostering globally minded veterinarians through internationally applicable programs.


Against such a background, to meet the societal demands for veterinarians, the Hokkaido University School of Veterinary Medicine launched the Cooperative Veterinary Education Program in 2012 jointly with the Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine-a program that leverages the strengths and characteristics of the respective universities-and has since worked to build veterinary education with a curriculum rigorous enough to rank with veterinary colleges in Europe and the United States in order to ensure quality assurance based on European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE) accreditation. Furthermore, to foster the development of internationally minded veterinarians, in addition to providing opportunities for clinical training and wildlife fieldwork at overseas partner institutions based on departmental exchange agreements, the School of Veterinary Medicine has since 2013 offered a collaborative educational program that allows credit transfer, which includes clinical training on industrial animals at Kasetsart University (Thailand), as part of the Ministry of Education's Inter-University Exchange Project. The International Vet Exchange Program (IVEP) aims to advance these initiatives to achieve (1) further enhancement of the international applicability of the Cooperative Veterinary Education Program and (2) internationalization of veterinary education in collaboration with five overseas veterinary colleges.