Memorandum of Understanding between the Higher Education Authority and QQI.
On 1 January 2015, a Memorandum of Understanding between the HEA and QQI came into operation. The Memorandum provides an agreed framework for cooperation and communication between the two organisations in the interests of the higher education sector as a whole. The MoU, which was implemented over the period 2015 – 2017, set out a range of actions. These actions support the four key commitments presented in the document: coherence of approach, alignment of activities, Ireland in an international context, and partnerships for enhancement. This MoU was renewed between the HEA & QQI in June 2018 and is available here.
Implementation of the QQI HEA Memorandum of Understanding – 2015
A significant element of the MoU is collaboration with the higher education sector as a whole. The view of both organisations is that the MoU should be tangible in terms of how the relationship between QQI and the HEA can evolve. As a result, it includes a number of identified actions to support the realisation of stated objectives over the next three years. As the focus for 2015 is on setting the foundations for realising the MoU, the three main areas of activity identified for 2015 are as follows:
Routine and ad hoc information exchanges between the HEA and QQI will take place during the year, i.e. exchange of Corporate Plans, exchange of information regarding reporting and meeting schedules between the two organisations and higher education institutions and meetings between the senior management teams of both organisations.
A number of initial presentation and dialogue sessions and workshops between the staff of the two organisations have been scheduled. These sessions are designed to bring staff in both organisations together in order to facilitate engagement between colleagues, gain a better understanding of each other’s individual roles and organisation’s objectives and functions and to foster bilateral working relationships.
The first workshop, held in the HEA on 18th June, explored the two organisations’ engagement with higher education institutions. Presentations were made by QQI on their annual institutional reports, annual dialogue meetings, institutional reviews, and QA guidelines; and by the HEA on the process of strategic dialogue, the institutional compacts, and the institutional profiles. The next joint HEA–QQI workshop will be held in QQI in the autumn and will focus on data-collection and analysis.
A Forum has been established which brings together the HEA and QQI with the Department of Education and Skills, IOTI, IUA and USI. The primary objective of the Forum is to assist and advise the HEA and QQI on the implementation of the MoU. In doing so, it is envisaged that the Forum will look at a number of relevant themes over the duration of the MoU and will also periodically consider the implementation of the MoU as a whole.
The Forum will meet a number of times during 2015. In particular, the Forum has decided that it would be a useful exercise to explore the issue of data and information which public higher education institutions are requested to provide to the HEA and QQI. The HEA and QQI are currently drafting a discussion paper which aims to capture the current situation regarding information provision to both organisations and identify collective aspirations for data and information collection and analysis.