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Strategic Dialogue and Performance Funding

August 2014

To further the development of the strategic dialogue process initiated in 2013, the HEA undertook to consult the sector in relation to the introduction of performance funding for subsequent rounds. The broad intention is that the process will allow for the allocation of performance funding based on the institution’s performance against its compact.

As part of the consultation process, the HEA commissioned a review of other performance funding systems, undertaken by Dr. Richard Thorn. Taking into account that review, as well as earlier consultation on strategic dialogue, the HEA set out its proposed approach to performance funding

July 2013

As part of the ongoing reform envisaged under the National Strategy, the HEA is now initiating a process of strategic dialogue with the higher education institutions

Specifically, this dialogue will seek:

  • To demonstrate how each institution is making its distinctive contribution to key national expectations of higher education
  • To support institutions’ efforts to improve their own performance – through better strategic planning and management, particularly with regard to the increasingly competitive global environment in which our institutions operate
  • To demonstrate how institutions are performing against the objectives set out in their own strategic plans 
  • To enhance the accountability of higher education in respect of the very significant public funding allocated annually.


HEIs have been invited to prepare and submit:

A Higher Education System Performance Framework has been published by DES setting out the system-level objectives and indicators that should inform institutional submissions. Institutions are asked to respond to these in distinctive ways, in accordance with their mission, strengths and strategic plans and in this way, the objectives are not intended to apply uniformly to all institutions.

Guidelines for the completion of mission-based performance compacts have been prepared.

A Q&A session on the subject of strategic dialogue took place on 11th September 2013. The presentation is available here.

The deadline for receipt of submissions was 27th September 2013.


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