Future Planning


HEA Future Focus Forum

The HEA maintains a watching brief on developments in higher education nationally and internationally in order to inform the on-going development of the Irish higher education system. This horizon-scanning is supported by the HEA Future Focus Forum series.


The HEA Future Focus Forum will build on the previous Forward Look Forums launched in 2014. The fora—for the leadership of Irish higher education, policy-makers and other key stakeholders—are held in the spring and autumn of each year. Cognisant of the rapidly changing international context within which higher education institutions operate, the fora aim to support disruptive thinking about the future of the sector through open dialogue that is unfettered by existing policy and the assumptions and values on which this is based. Focusing on cross-cutting themes that are complementary to the on-going reform of the Irish sector, the fora are participatory, supporting the development of action-oriented responses to addressing future challenges.

Details of the events which have been held to-date are presented below.

Future Focus Forum EventTitleDate
1st HEA Future Focus Forum Digital Transformation and Empowering Technologies in Higher Education19 February 2019


Event Title Date
7th HEA Forward Look Forum Higher Education Futures: Which Issues and Trends are Most Significant for Ireland and the HEA? 31 May 2017
6th HEA Forward Look Forum ‘Private Providers: What Role Should They Play in the Irish Higher Education Landscape? 23 November 2016
5th HEA Forward Look Forum ‘Unbundling’ Educational Provision and Delivery Modes—What’s Ahead? 19 May 2016
4th HEA Forward Look Forum Skills, Employability and the Post-Secondary Sector: What is the Role for Higher Education? 11 November 2015
3rd HEA Forward Look Forum International Trends in Research: What Does Ireland Need to Succeed? 15 April 2015
2nd HEA Forward Look Forum From Regional Clusters to Knowledge Hubs: Unlocking the Potential 26 November 2014
1st HEA Forward Look Forum Re-casting the Sustainability Debate: Positioning Irish Higher Education as a Driver of Sustainable Social, Cultural and Economic Development 30 May 2014

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