Minister for Further Education Patrick O’Donovan has said new veterinary course places in 2024 are not expected.

This is despite Taoiseach Simon Harris saying a number of weeks ago that it would be possible to deliver extra veterinary capacity from this September.

A spokesperson from the Department of Further and Higher Education told the Irish Farmers Journal: “Minister O’Donovan is committed to expanding the provision of veterinary medicine programmes in the higher education sector. Given the complexity of bringing forward these projects, it is not expected that additionality will be available in 2024.”

The four shortlisted colleges, South East Technological University, University of Limerick, Atlantic Technological University and University College Dublin are seeking clarity.

“A decision needs to be made with respect to the approval of funding to ensure that the programme can be made available to students in a timely manner,” said a spokesperson from SETU.

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