HEA–QQI Memorandum of Understanding 2018-2020

This is the second Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI); the original MoU was established for the period 2015-2017. The current MoU re-emphasises the commitment of both organisations to ensure the coordination and complementarity of their activities in the interests of the higher education sector as a whole and, in turn, the State and its citizens. While significant progress has been made and valuable lessons learned through implementation of the original MoU, challenges remain and this current MoU will act as a framework to channel renewed efforts of both organisations and their staff in actively pursuing ways to collaborate meaningfully. The approach continues to be one of working in partnership with the broader higher education community, in order to optimise their efficiency, effectiveness and strategic impact and in so doing, to demonstrate tangibly the impact of the interrelationship between the HEA and QQI. This partnership-working is underpinned by a whole-of-education and whole-of-government approach to the development of policy and practice in higher education.

Both the HEA and QQI are committed to supporting the enhancement of the performance and quality of Irish higher education, while upholding the principles of academic freedom and institutional autonomy; and both are committed to the achievement of the key system objectives identified in the Higher Education System Performance Framework 2018–2020. Cooperation between the two organisations will support the collective advancement of the reform agenda for higher education in partnership with the sector. Consistent with the original MoU, this document recognises the benefits of ensuring that the staff and board members of both organisations have a full understanding of the complex, multidimensional interrelationship between the roles of the HEA and QQI. Additional means through which such understanding and implementation of the MoU can be embedded on a day-to-day basis for all staff have been considered, which will also act to facilitate the identification of further areas of collaboration with the aim of increasing the positive impact on the sector.