The article also contained news of Massey’s plan to add practical aspects of farming and veterinary work into degrees from 2019, highlighting the University’s focus on agriculture, a move to combat claims that while new graduates are academically qualified, they lack practical ability.
In the article, Kelly said the majority of veterinary students and graduates at the University were women, and that more women students proceed to second year.
“That’s because women mature earlier than men, work hard and pass,” he said. “When I went through vet school, many years ago, it was dominated by men; today it’s dominated by women. That’s fine, but the problem is one woman graduate is equivalent to two-fifths of a full-time equivalent vet throughout her life because she gets married and has a family, which is normal. So, though we’re graduating a lot of vets, we’re getting a high fallout rate later on,”
The comments were met with online condemnation.
Kelly later released a statement via Twitter and Facebook, apologising for the remarks.
“I was trying to explain changes Massey University has made over a number of years in the veterinary sciences programme in response to industry needs, and I also concede that the information was not factual,” the statement read.