To further the development of the strategic dialogue process initiated in 2013, the HEA has introduced performance funding for subsequent rounds.

The first process of accountability and performance review, introduced by the HEA in 2013, included an aspect of performance funding which penalised insufficient performance by institutions with reference to the institutional performance compact. The approach to performance funding was informed by a review of other performance funding systems undertaken by Dr. Richard Thorn and consultation on strategic dialogue. The approach was detailed in the 2014 Performance Funding Guidance Note. Learnings from the process are captured in HEA reports such as Higher Education System Performance, 2014–2017.

The need for positive performance funding was picked up in both the new System Performance Framework 2018-2020 and the Review of the Allocation Model for Funding Higher Education Institutions (2018).

In 2018, institutions developed performance compacts, with reference to the national framework, and which, based on each institution’s own strategic plan, set out a series of objectives which are outcome oriented, mission-based and subject to annual review by the HEA.

As part of the 2019 Strategy and Performance Dialogue review process, HEIs were required to make two submissions:

  1. Impact Assessment Case Studies setting out exemplars of their progress in implementing performance compacts and the strategic initiatives identified within these, as well as evolving national policy objectives.
  2. Self-evaluation reports of progress against interim targets set out within the compacts, for the period September 2018-August 2019.

In 2019, the Government allocated €5M in performance funding, based on the review of Impact Assessment Case Studies. Details of the allocations are available here.


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