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Institutional Funding

The HEA manages and disburses recurrent funds to the universities, institutes of technology and other designated colleges*. An overview of the funding allocated is available to download at the bottom of this page.  Overall management in respect of the section’s funding systems includes:-

  • Annual Recurrent Grant Allocations: Preparation of grant allocations for the sector using Recurrent Grant Allocation Models (RGAM) [Click here for details on the models], collecting and collating relevant data to inform grant allocations (e.g. student numbers, unit cost data). 
  • Annual Recurrent Grant Payments: Drawdown and payments of recurrent grants and fees throughout the year and timely issuing of requests for data, including all claim forms (e.g. free fees, nursing). The payments process includes: payment of recurrent grants to all institutions, payment of grant in lieu of undergraduate fees, payment of grant and fees in respect of the nursing programmes.
  • Annual Institutional Budgetary Process: Evaluating and agreeing budgets with the institutions for the expenditure of these monies
  • Apprenticeship: Provision of funding for delivery of apprenticeship training in the institutes of technology sector.

Other current Programmatic Funding: e.g. student assistant fund, Irish initiative, medical education, various skills initiatives, compilation of information for the Forfás Science Budget.


General reporting functions


Employment Control Framework – The Employment Control Framework (ECF) is monitored by an Employment Control Framework Monitoring Committee comprised of the HEA, who chairs the Committee and representatives of the Departments of Education and Science and Public Expenditure and Reform.  The HEA Executive ensures the timely collection of the quarterly staff returns from the higher education institutions.  [Click here to download the framework]

Governance: collation of annual governance returns from institutions.


Pensions: assistance, as required with any on-going pensions issues in the sector. This involves close liaison and correspondence with the institutions and Departments.


European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)/European Social Fund (ESF): Input into the current regular reporting required by Department of Education and Skills/Regional Assemblies/Department of Public Expenditure and the EU Commission. It also involves input to the development of future operational plans as they will pertain to HEA related activities. 


Compilation of courses eligible for tax relief in third level institutions.  The list of such courses is available on the Revenue Commissioners Website www.revenue.ie


Support for Audit functions


Management of general and research capital projects audit process including the establishment of the annual audit process and methodology, liaising with external audit providers (currently Mazars) and HEIs, the review of audit reports and findings, agreement of further action/feedback required.


Evaluating and agreeing the format of audited accounts from the universities and the institutes of technology


Strategic functions


Development of Funding Models – this includes input, as required, to the on-going development of funding models in the sector arising from implementation of National Strategy. (e.g. changes to RGAM arising from review of funding model)


General Section Work


Providing information as required to Department of Education and Skills (DES); arranging issuing of circulars; collection and collation of requests for information for DES); responding to institutional requests; liaising with other sections as required; extracting data/collating tables from annual financial statements as required.


Industrial Relations Issues: arranging for issuing of circulars on Government pay and pensions policy and providing information as required for DES




*These institutions include: Mary Immaculate College Limerick, St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra, National College of Art and Design, Mater Dei Institute of Education, St. Angela’s College Sligo, the Royal Irish Academy and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.


Please note that the HEA does not provide funding directly to students. For information on State higher education grants, please access the Student Finance website, www.studentfinance.ie or contact the Department of Education and Skills

Recurrent Grant Allocation Model Flowchart 2015
Recurrent Grant Allocation Model Flowchart 2014
Recurrent Grant Allocation Model Flowchart 2013
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