Five third-level institutions are in the mix to educate and train more vet students, the Irish Farmers Journal understands. Currently the sole provider of veterinary education in Ireland, UCD, has moved to seek Government funding for additional student capacity in its course.

Meanwhile, four others, understood to be South East Technological University (Waterford), the Atlantic Technological University (Galway), University of Limerick and University of Galway have pitched to set up completely new veterinary courses.

CEO of the Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI) Niamh Muldoon has been appointed to a Higher Education Authority (HEA) panel to access where best to add capacity for third-level veterinary education as well as for human medical fields. The panel will review the five vet college applications and the HEA will make a recommendation to Government. The new veterinary course, or potentially expanded course in the case of UCD, could be operational by September 2024, said Muldoon.

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New Irish veterinary school planned