Detailed discussions continue to take place about the provision of any new vet school, Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris has told the Irish Farmers Journal.

He explained how a number of institutions put forward proposals following the recent Higher Education Authority (HEA) expression of interest process outlining options for the expansion of existing veterinary medicine provision.

However, there is, he said, a substantial capital cost associated with the provision of any new school for veterinary medicine.

“It is important that the scale of costs is fully understood and planned for. The options identified have the potential to transform the numbers of students who can take up places on veterinary medicine programmes and would represent a significant investment of public funding in our higher education institutions,” he said. “My position remains we must increase capacity here and I am working to achieve that as soon as is possible.”