Research presented at the recent British Academy of Management Conference (Belfast) on veterinary business education highlighted the need for continued innovative approaches. While the study revealed variety in the scope and content of veterinary business modules, it also showed commonality in pedagogical approaches adopted and assessment methods employed. The quantity of core business modules provided to students varied from 0 hours to a total of 44 hours across the entire veterinary programme.
There was a predominately ‘management’ rather than ‘enterprise’ focus amongst the veterinary schools, with the core principles of marketing, finance and human resources management included in most curricula. Some vet schools incorporated leadership and time management, suggesting a focus on educating ‘in’ rather than ‘for’ business. However, the study also acknowledged the more innovative endeavours of some schools, where creativity, new product development, business planning and the development of enterprising behavior were key objectives. The study concludes that large class sizes and crowded curricula could hamper such innovative approaches, and calls for more action-oriented approaches as well as a common forum to help vet business educators share experiences and platform good practice.
Author: Professor Colette Henry, FRSA, Head of Dept. Business Studies at Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland, and Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at UiT–The Arctic University of Norway. Contact: Colette.firstname.lastname@example.org