The National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 [link to National Strategy for Higher Education document] provides a roadmap for the most fundamental reform of Irish higher education in the history of the State. That reform is now well underway, with the merging of institutions and the development of clusters of collaboration to enhance quality of outcomes and create scale, in order to develop a more coherent system of higher education institutions, working together, to deliver on stated national objectives.

A System Performance Framework [link to subpage on System Performance Framework], stating national priorities and key objectives of Government for higher education was set out by the Minister for Education and Skills for 2014-2016. The HEA has presented two Annual System Performance Reports against those objectives. The third Annual System Performance Report is due in 2017.

In order to deliver on the objectives set out in the System Performance Framework, the HEA engages in a process of strategic dialogue [link to subpage on Strategic Dialogue] with the higher education institutions. Specifically, this dialogue seeks to:

• Demonstrate how each institution is making its distinctive contribution to key national expectations of higher education
• 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
• Demonstrate how institutions are performing against the objectives set out in their own strategic plans
• Enhance the accountability of higher education in respect of the very significant public funding allocated annually.

To further the development of the strategic dialogue process initiated in 2013, the HEA has also introduced performance funding [link to subpage on Performance Funding] as part of the strategic dialogue process.

You can read about the System Performance Framework, how strategic dialogue works and about performance funding in this section.

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