The Irish universities all have effective quality assurance and quality improvement policies and practices. These have all been externally evaluated by independent experts, using the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education. For the results of these and other evaluations, please click here.
Under Irish legislation (Universities Act 1997), each university is responsible for the quality of its own teaching and learning, and for putting in place procedures to ensure this. In doing so, each university cooperates with the other Irish universities to ensure a common approach and to share expertise. There is also significant cooperation in this area with universities and experts in other countries of Europe, the USA, and elsewhere. The Irish universities make extensive use of external evaluators from leading universities and relevant bodies outside Ireland.
External Quality Assurance
As part of this common approach, the universities established the Irish Universities Quality Board in 2003, an independent external quality assurance agency which has likewise been evaluated and approved at European level. The IUQB supports and promotes a culture of quality in Irish higher education, and organises the independent external evaluations of the effectiveness of quality processes in Irish universities. For more information on the work of IUQB, including its catalogue of quality reviews across Irish universities, and other publications and resources regarding quality enhancement in Irish universities, please see www.iuqb.ie.
Internal Quality Assurance
All of the universities ensure the on-going quality and improvement of their teaching and learning activities through regular internal quality assurance reviews. These include evaluations of all academic and administrative units within each university, as well as of specific teaching programmes and projects. These reviews are organised by each individual university, with the assistance of external experts from a broad range of countries and stakeholder groups. These reports can be found via the IUQB review catalogue.
The Irish Higher Education Quality Network was established in 2003. It provides a forum for the discussion of quality assurance and quality improvement issues among the principal players involved in the quality assurance of higher education and training in Ireland.
More information about the IHEQN, its members, role and functions can be found under the ‘About IHEQN’ and ‘Member Organisations’ sections of their site: http://www.iheqn.ie