QA in the Irish universities is overseen by the national quality agency, Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). All of the Irish universities have developed comprehensive internal QA procedures with regard to QQI’s Core Statutory Quality Assurance Guidelines and Sector-Specific Statutory Quality Assurance Guidelines, which are underpinned by the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area. More information on the work of QQI can be found on its website: www.qqi.ie.
All of the universities have Dialogue Meetings with QQI and also provide the agency with an Annual Institutional Quality Assurance Report for each academic year. QQI also coordinates independent external Cyclical Reviews of universities on a periodic scheduled basis. These provide the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness and implementation of institution-wide QA procedures for the purposes of establishing, ascertaining, maintaining and enhancing the quality of education, training, research and related services the university provides. The current Review Cycle is 2017-2023.
Internal quality assurance
All of the universities ensure the on-going quality and improvement of their teaching and learning activities through regular internal QA reviews. These include evaluations of study programmes, as well as academic, administrative and service units within each university, and unit-based reviews of schools, faculties and colleges, depending on a university’s structure. These reviews are organised by each individual university, with the assistance of external experts from a broad range of countries and stakeholder groups.
The Irish Higher Education Quality Network (IHEQN) 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 QA of higher education and training in Ireland.
More information about the IHEQN can be found on its website: www.iheqn.ie.