§ Mr. Edwards
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to increase the number of veterinary schools.
§ Margaret Hodge
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)—not the Government—has responsibility for determining the number and location of higher education places, including those for veterinary medicine. The funding council takes demand for veterinary surgeons into account in setting the number of places.
In recent years, there has been a steady rise in the number of students entering veterinary schools, from 430 in 1991 to 660 in 2000, as well as a similar rise in the numbers graduating, from 360 to 560 over the same period.