Teaching Materials

Introduction to the NEAT teaching materials

Before you start using the teaching materials developed by NEAT, it will be helpful for you to know the context in which these materials were developed.

The authors of the materials are all experienced university teachers in the Economics of Animal Health.

Levels of teaching Economics of Animal Health

The following levels of teaching Economics of Animal Health were identified:

  1. Basic economics needed by all ‘day-one’ veterinarians
  2. Economics for veterinarians who give advice on request for problems defined by farmers
  3. Economics for veterinarians who provide more generic advice on farms, including setting goals
  4. Economics for veterinarians working on animal health problems at a regional or sector level.

The first group comprises all recently graduated veterinarians, both farm animal vets and companion animal vets. It is the largest group, and also the group most in need of an elementary understanding of the economic dimensions of problems in animal health. The materials you are using now are developed specifically for this group.

The other three levels for teaching are mostly directed at students who become large animal vets. They require more specific teaching materials which are yet to be developed by the NEAT team.

The teaching materials we developed are specifically about the Economics of Animal Health. Although there is overlap between this field and those of business economics and veterinary practice management, we limit ourselves to the economics of animal health. However, the materials can be used as an introduction to those other areas as well.

Teaching approach

The development team identified 5 important topics that need to be taught at a basic level to all veterinarians.

  1. The role of a veterinarian from an economics perspective
  2. The value of animals and the benefits of veterinary activity
  3. Resources for veterinary work
  4. Costs of veterinary activity
  5. The decision making context

In our opinion, teaching is about both the transfer of knowledge (represented by the lecture materials) and the experience of students themselves. We are familiar with the use of practical exercises in veterinary education, especially for clinical skills and calculation methods. However, for  more abstract topics it is important that students are also exposed to general objectives of the teaching, and so we base each topic on both a lecture and a practical. Some of the practicals are of a conventional kind, while others use novel approaches such as role playing and conjoint analyses.

The time allocated for a lecture is 45 minutes, and for a practical 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Comments and feedback

Most of this teaching material is brand new. We have presented it for comment and criticism in a workshop setting, but we have not yet tested it with students. This means that certainly we shall make improvements, and the amended materials will be posted on-line.

Good luck with these materials. Feel free to translate them into your own language. We only ask that you refer to the NEAT network while doing so, and please provide us with the translated materials so that we can distribute those, too. We do appreciate your feedback.

Development team

Maurizio Aragrande University of Bologna Bologna, Italy
Massimo Canali University of Bologna Bologna, Italy
Florence Beaugrand ONIRIS Nantes, France
Henk Hogeveen Wageningen University, Wageningen and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine,
Utrecht University
Wageningen/Utrecht, The Netherlands
Keith Howe Royal Veterinary College and University of Exeter London/Exeter, United Kingdom
Claudia Kamphuis Wageningen University Wageningen, The Netherlands
Jarkko Niemi Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) Seinäjoki, Finland
Karl Rich University of Oslo Oslo, Norway
Jonathan Rushton Royal Veterinary College London, United Kingdom
Helmut Saatkamp Wageningen University Wageningen, The Netherlands


Download the NEAT teaching materials

Session 1

The role of a veterinarian in society - an economics perspective  (Practical: pdf)

Session 2

The value of animals and the benefits of veterinary activity


Session 3

Resources for veterinary work (Practical: pdf)

Session 4

Costs of veterinary activity


Session 5

The decision making context (Lecture and Practical)


Creative Commons License
The teaching material provided on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Please attribute the NEAT network with a link to www.neat-network.eu