Veterinary students get scholarship boost

Associate Professor Jenny Weston(left), Sarah Lace, Colleen Lynch, Amberley Faint-Rafferty, Mark Winger Freemasons Grand Master Marcus Yule, and Marina Mendes Dean.

Students from Massey University’s School of Veterinary Science were at Parliament yesterday to receive scholarships totalling $40,000 from the Lawson-Smith Freemasons Education Trust.

The trust, now in its second year, awards $40,000 annually to students in their fourth or final year of a Bachelor of Veterinary Science and students in their third and final year of a Bachelor of Veterinary Technology.

The school’s dean of veterinary science Associate Professor Jenny Weston says the scholarships mean a lot to students.

 “The recently established Lawson-Smith Freemasons Scholarships are a significant boost for our veterinary students and it is great to see another group of students benefitting from this generous scholarship,” Dr Weston says. “Veterinary education is expensive, graduates have an average student debt of $90,000 at the completion of their five-year programme and the ratio of student debt to starting salary does not compare well to that of other professional groups. 

“Veterinary students also have a lot of practical work requirements to undertake during the holidays and the timetable is very full during their time at university, so there is little opportunity for paid employment to support their studies.

“These scholarship recipients have been chosen on the basis of their academic achievements as well as their contributions to the community. It never ceases to amaze me how much some of our veterinary students accomplish during their time at Massey University; in addition to excelling in a demanding programme, they remain passionate about other interests, whether that be the environment, service to others (people and animals) or high-level contributions to sports or the arts.”

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