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Significant milestone for SETU - Government confirms go-ahead for next phase of proposed development

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris has today announced that the green light has been given to SETU to proceed to the next stage in its application for new healthcare and veterinary education places.

SETU has been chosen by the Higher Education Authority to have viable proposals to deliver additional capacity and courses in the areas of Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine and Nursing.

Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins said “I am delighted for Professor Veronica Campbell and her exceptionally talented team at SETU. It is an exceptional achievement to have been adjudicated as having viable proposals to expand their nursing places by twenty-five. They have also been adjudicated as having viable proposals to develop new courses in the areas of Veterinary Medicine (forty places) and Pharmacy (forty places).

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “I am delighted that SETU has been successful in its proposals to expand healthcare places at the university. This is a major day for the entire South East region and for SETU which has hit the ground running since its establishment just over a year ago. It is a real vote of confidence in their ability to expand educational provision in the region”.

“These projects will now proceed to the next phase which is the formulation of a full business case which will be assessed by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, but there is no doubt this is major progress. We now have concrete places to increase healthcare and veterinary medicine education across a number of our universities. This won’t happen overnight but it is a significant moment to be celebrated.”

Speaking in the Seanad in March, Senator Cummins said “In terms of course development, SETU have submitted very strong bids for new veterinary medicine and pharmacy disciplines, as well as an expansion of their nursing school. These are obviously competitive calls which are currently being assessed by the HEA, however It would be my hope that we can get approval for at least two out of three of these requests”.

Speaking following the announcement he said “Today is a brilliant day for SETU. Having seen the very strong bids which were put forward I was very hopeful that we would get approval to proceed with at least two of these proposals but to be assessed as having viable bids for all three is a fantastic achievement. It has been great to be in a position to work closely with my colleague, the Minister for Further and Higher education on our plans to develop these expanded places. I was pleased to facilitate meetings between the Taoiseach, Minister Harris and the senior leadership team at SETU over the last number of months where this and many other items were discussed”.

He concluded by saying “I was delighted to organise a letter of support, signed by all Oireachtas members in the Southeast in support of these bids and I am proud of the campaigning which was done to achieve this favourable outcome. While some will say SETU has something to fear from competitive calls, I believe this demonstrates, if there was ever a doubt that our new University led by Professor Veronica Campbell will absolutely deliver for students and industry across the region. I look forward to continuing my work with Minister Harris and Professor Campbell to make these projects a reality.”

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