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Concerns Arise Regarding the Timeline for Establishing New Veterinary School

Concerns Arise Regarding the Timeline for Establishing New Veterinary School
Concerns Arise Regarding the Timeline for Establishing New Veterinary School

Concerns Arise Regarding the Timeline for Establishing a New Veterinary School

A group of professionals in the field of veterinary medicine has expressed worries that the available timeframe for establishing a new veterinary school in time for the start of the academic year in 2024 is becoming increasingly limited.

Dr. Jimmy Quinn, a member of the Working Group for Reform in Irish Veterinary Education, has stated that there is currently no clear plan or schedule for the establishment of a second veterinary school.

An announcement was made in June suggesting that it could be possible to train an additional 230 veterinarians annually. Presently, veterinary medicine programs are exclusively offered at University College Dublin (UCD).

There are potential plans for new programs at the University of Limerick (UL), Atlantic Technological University (ATU), and South East Technological University (SETU).

Timing is crucial, Dr. Quinn noted, as the Central Applications Office (CAO) offers are being extended to students completing their leaving certificate exams. This is also a significant time for students considering studying veterinary medicine in other parts of Europe or in the UK.

“We advised them to stick with their existing arrangements because there has been no concrete announcement here giving an indication as to when a new school will start,” he said.

“At a time when school leavers are making decisions about their education paths, it’s concerning that there is no information available confirming the establishment of a second school by 2024. Our efforts persist. We have substantial support within the profession, among farmers, and from secondary-level students to make this a reality. We’ll continue our efforts until the new school becomes a reality,” he added.

The group is optimistic that a positive announcement regarding funding allocation for the second veterinary school will be made in the upcoming budget. Dr. Quinn emphasized that the demand for such a school remains consistent and ongoing.

Response from the Department

The department responsible for education has stated that it is actively collaborating with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, as well as the Department of Public Expenditure, National Development Plan (NDP) Delivery, and Reform, to plan the next steps in this process.

Previously, the government committed to advancing this initiative by providing funding for new programs, which will be considered in the context of budgetary procedures and the NDP review.

The Higher Education Authority (HEA), which has been assessing the potential for expanding tertiary-level programs, has been in dialogue with all relevant institutions, as per the department’s statement.

 

 


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