Cabinet is to meet later this month to decide on the location of the new veterinary school, a spokesperson for Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has told the Irish Farmers Journal.

Minister Harris told the Dáil last week that the report from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) has given Government options to “significantly increase” the number of people training in veterinary medicine.

During initial talks about where the school should be located, the University of Limerick was tipped to become the site of the new vet school, however, Minister Harris said a number of institutions put forward proposals.

These included the expansion of the existing veterinary medicine programme in UCD, but also for the development of entirely new programmes at the University of Limerick (UL); Munster Technological University (MTU); Atlantic Technological University (ATU); and South East Technological University (SETU).

“The HEA has advised that a number of proposals for additional veterinary places are worthy of further consideration and examination. As I intend updating Government on this process shortly, I cannot confirm the exact numbers or locations.

“However, I can confirm following Government consideration, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and I will outline how we intend to move forward with the opportunities, identified by the HEA, for new programme provision alongside options for current programme expansion.”