MLA: Coleraine vet school plans being “kicked down the road”
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Ms Sugden has lobbied for years for a vet school in Coleraine, citing industry and academic demand, and highlighting the unique opportunities offered by Ulster University campus.
“Previous dates for publication of the report, first in September 2021, then early in the new year and then February, were all missed,” Ms Sugden said.
“This report was completed in March but remains unpublished. There is no vet school in NI and as a result we are unable to meet the demands of industry.
“This was true prior to Brexit, but the new livestock checks that have since been required mean there is an even bigger gap between supply and demand.
“We have many young people here who want to study veterinary science but must travel to GB or the Republic of Ireland. We need to have an option for them here and Coleraine is perfect.
“There also exists the opportunity for the Executive and Ulster University to back their claims that they are committed to the future of the Coleraine campus by replacing courses that have been moved elsewhere.
“This has the opportunity to be a win-win situation. It would support the veterinary, agri-food and farming industries here, enable students to study veterinary science without moving out of NI and give the university in Coleraine the backing it has been promised.
“My fear is that with the current deadlock and prospect of another election soon, this issue will remain unresolved with the can being kicked further down the road at each step.”