- European Higher Education Area - EHEA
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Governmental membershipIreland has been a Governmental Member of EQAR since August 2008.
Read more: all Governmental Members of EQAR
General information on higher education
Ireland’s higher education system is a binary system with universities and institutes of technology.
The Universities Act of 1997, Institutes of Technology Act 2006 and the Technological Universities Act of 2018 set out the objects and functions of a university, an institute of technology or a technological university, and the structure and role of governing authorities.
The oversight and quality assurance of the higher education sector is ensured by the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), the statutory quality assurance body for higher education and by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), the statutory funding, planning and policy-development body in Ireland.
National external quality assurance requirements
Depending on the type of higher education institution, providers in Ireland may have self-awarding powers, delegated awarding powers (after having been succesfully externally reviewed) and independent providers, whose programmes have to be accredited by an external quality assurance agency.
The aim of review is to provide an independent external review of the institution’s own internal quality assurance procedures.
Not required for eight universities together with the Dublin Institute of Technology and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, which have degree awarding powers i.e. the possibility to validate and award their own qualifications
Delegated authority to make awards
will exempt education providers to undergo an external programme validation procedure.
may lead to withdrawal of approval of a QA procedures. The procedures is invoked if there are reasons for concern with a particular higher education provider.
Cross-border quality assurance
In Ireland higher education institutions may not choose among EQAR-registered agencies.
European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes
In Ireland the European Approach is available to higher education institutions under certain conditions.
A number of universities have self-awarding powers giving them the possibility to validate and award their own qualifications. They can employ the European Approach for the quality assurance of joint programmes. Providers with awarding powers delegated to them by QQI i.e. institutes of technology may also employ this approach.