Mitsuyoshi Takiguchi Dean, VNJ
High-quality veterinary education with international applicability is essential to meet the ever-expanding and diversifying global needs of veterinary medicine and veterinarians. Therefore, Hokkaido University School of Veterinary Medicine and Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine established the Cooperative Veterinary Education Program (Vet North Japan, VNJ) in 2012 to promote advanced veterinary education using Hokkaido as a research field and making the most of the schools' mutual characteristics and individual advantages. Hokkaido University has strengths in education and research in companion animal medicine, infectious diseases, and life sciences, while Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine has strengths in education and research in production animal medicine and food safety. By integrating these, we have built an international-level education system, which was difficult for a single university to achieve, and we have also worked on improving the quality in veterinary education to ensure the international level which is accreditable by EAEVE.
In 2019, the Cooperative Veterinary Education Program was fully accredited by the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE), which means that our veterinary education program is internationally acceptable by the standard of Europe and the United States, because the accreditaion by EAEVE is officially viewed as third-party accreditation by an international authority.
The complementary educational system is an initiative that is drawing attention not only in Japan, but also in Asia and Europe. In the future, we will continue to work on continuous improvement of veterinary education in cooperation with Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, which also conducts VNJ, and return the experience and knowledge gained in the process of accreditation by EAEVE to internationalize veterinary education in Japan.