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



The HEA supports the Minister and Department of Education and Skills in the strategic development of the Irish higher education and research system.  The policy direction of the system continues to be grounded in the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030, as well as the Higher Education System Performance Framework, the Action Plan for Education and other relevant national and international strategies.

The organisation’s vision is that, by 2022, it will be overseeing and guiding the performance of the Irish higher education system which is:

  • Delivering excellence and innovation;
  • Accessible, sustainable, autonomous and accountable;
  • Fit-for-purpose, stepping up to achieve – and exceed – national ambitions: economically, societally and culturally;
  • Globally connected and internationally renowned for the experience that it offers students, and the outcomes it delivers, whilst protecting valuable institutional diversity.

From now until 2022, it will advance its’ realisation of this vision across eight Strategic Themes:

  • Governance, Leadership and Operational Excellence;
  • Funding, Sustainability and Performance;
  • Evidence, Policy and Strategic Planning;
  • Digital Transformation;
  • Quality and Academic Excellence;
  • Equity of Access;
  • Skills, Employability and Engagement;
  • HEA as an Excellent Organisation.