The recipient, Lauren Krueger, is also reported to be the first UK undergraduate in the field to receive a teaching award from the higher education body.
The HEA associate fellowship is awarded to those who have met the appropriate standards in teaching and learning for higher education, and is usually presented to academics with a few more years under their belt.
Krueger, however, is one of 115 students currently pursuing an undergraduate certificate in veterinary medical education (UCVME), an optional programme that runs alongside her main degree.
Undergraduate awarded associate fellowship https://t.co/Xs8cCPJT7w
— Vet Times (@vettimesuk) January 6, 2017
Under the programme, students get the opportunity to visit local schools to hone their teaching skills and encourage more schoolchildren to pursue careers in the sciences.
It was her involvement in the programme and contribution to education and learning in veterinary medicine that caught the eye of the HEA.
Commenting on her win, Krueger said: “I am really pleased to receive this fellowship. I’m interested in utilising my degree in an educational or research-based capacity and the experience gained through this certificate has helped transform me into a more effective and efficient educator capable of instruction both within and outside of the veterinary profession.”
She added that the HEA’s resources and support as she begins her career as a veterinary researcher will prove valuable and allow her to “initiate education and training change within the field”.
— The University of Edinburgh (@EdinburghUni) January 10, 2017
Dr Neil Hudson, the university’s senior veterinary clinical lecturer who also leads the UCVME scheme, said he was “delighted” that Krueger’s work has been recognised by the HEA.
Speaking about the UCVME programme, which is the first of its kind in the UK, Hudson added: “A key responsibility of veterinary professionals is the education of students, clients, and colleagues and the certificate is a great way to formally recognise the important role that students play in teaching.”