Entrance exam for veterinary studies reduces Dutch-origin enrolments

In the 2024-2025 academic year, 240 students will be able to start veterinary studies in Flanders. Since last year, however, an entrance exam has been introduced. According to minister of Education and Animal Welfare Ben Weyts, this exam was introduced to curb the influx of foreign students and has drastically reduced the number of enrolments of Dutch students.

Before the exam was introduced, 40 per cent of veterinary students were Dutch, falling to 13 per cent after the exam was brought in.

Students in Flanders can take a bachelor degree in veterinary medicine at UAntwerp and a bachelor or master at UGent. According to Weyts, these programmes were struggling to cope with the number of students, with too many students for the number of teachers and too little practical experience.

As Flanders was the only European region with no entrance exam for the course, there were also many foreign students, particularly from the Netherlands.

"Thanks to this system, there is no influx of students from abroad, and as many Flemish students as possible can start a quality course"

Weyts therefore introduced the entrance exam, which was held for the first time last year. It attracted 510 candidates, about a quarter of whom came from abroad. 240 candidates began the course. The same number will be admitted in the next academic year.

"Thanks to this system, there is no influx of students from abroad and, above all, as many Flemish students as possible can start a quality course," Weyts said.

A new feature this year is that candidates for veterinary medicine who are also taking the entrance exams for medicine or dentistry must declare a binding preference in advance. The preference system was already in place for the medical and dental entrance exams and will now be extended to the veterinary entrance exam.



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