The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is the statutory planning and development body for higher education and research in Ireland.

It advises the Government and the Minister for Education and Science. The HEA is responsible for the allocation of Exchequer funding to Irish higher education institutions, and also has a number of other responsibilities as set out in relevant legislation. The policy and strategic planning work carried out by the HEA feeds into broader national and international education, teaching and learning, and research areas.

The National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030, sets out a number of key challenges for Ireland’s Higher education sector in the coming years. The HEA’s Strategic Plan 2012 – 2016 accepts this ambitious vision for the future of Irish higher education and sets out the HEA’s intended contribution to underpin that vision with a clear roadmap as to how this is going to be achieved. The Plan seeks to ensure that the HEA’s own policy and planning, governance and operational arrangements are up to the task of leading the transformation. The HEA’s Strategic Plan also articulates the HEA’s vision for Higher Education – the development of a sector that contributes to the advancement of society through empowered, dynamic, entrepreneurial, well-resourced and autonomous higher education institutions.

A strategic plan for 2017-2021 is under development at HEA. It will have a five year duration with a three year review period.