Higher Education Authority

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The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is the statutory planning and development body for higher education and research in Ireland. The HEA has wide advisory powers throughout the whole of the third-level education sector. In addition it is the funding authority for the universities and a number of designated higher education institutions.


See http://www.hea.ie/.

It is also a Quality assurance agency and a full member of ENQA.


Policy study on Open and Distance Learning

(sourced from http://extranet.hea.ie/index.cfm/page/sub/id/1188)

In 2008, HEA carried out a policy study on Open and Distance Learning (ODL). ODL is one approach to the introduction of more flexible learning opportunities for students who are in employment or who are unable to commit to regular attendance at higher-education institutions. As such it has an important contribution to make to national objectives in up-skilling and higher education participation.

The HEA has established an expert group to bring forward recommendations to the Authority on the future role and potential of ODL in Irish higher education.

As part of the exercise, the HEA engaged in a public consultation process. Submissions to the expert group were invited from members of the public and other interested stakeholders on the opportunities for the further development of ODL in the Irish higher-education sector. The submissions closed in April 2008.


Terms of Reference for HEA Expert Group on ODL

(sourced from http://www.hea.ie/files/files/file/archive/policy/2006/Terms%20of%20Reference%20-%20Policy%20Study%20on%20Open%20and%20Distance%20Learning.doc)

  • To assess the current level of engagement of the Irish higher education sector in open and distance learning.
  • To identify principles of best practice in international policies for the provision and promotion of open and distance learning in the context of increasing lifelong learning participation.
  • To evaluate the compatibility of the current policy and funding framework with the objective of significantly increasing participation in lifelong learning.
  • To consider the potential demand for open and distance learning in Ireland.
  • To consult widely with higher education providers and other interested stakeholders in conducting its work.
  • To bring forward recommendations for consideration by the HEA for the design and development of a national strategy on open and distance learning


Members of the Expert Group

(sourced from http://www.hea.ie/files/files/file/archive/policy/current/Panel%20Members%20Biographies.doc)



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