Veterinary Council chairman Ron Gibson has welcomed Massey University's decision to upgrade and expand New Zealand's only veterinary school.
The university will spend $75 million re-developing the veterinary hospital and pathology facilities in Palmerston North, along with providing more space and resources for teaching and research work.
It will increase the capacity of the course from 100 students a year to 140, or 40%.
Project leader Frazar Allan says an extra 180 students will also have the chance to complete the five-year veterinary science degree and it is the first upgrade to the school since the early 1970s.
Professor Allan says an increase in the number of graduates will help compensate for a growing shortage of veterinarians in New Zealand over the next 20 years.
Half of the increased annual student intake would be from New Zealand and half from overseas, provided that the Government agrees to fund the additional domestic student numbers.
Ron Gibson says the expansion will help to address the shortage of vets.