The Impact of COVID-19 on QQI Awards


QQI has published 2020 data on QQI awards certification for further education and training (FET) and higher education (HE).

The document reveals how COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions disrupted education and training in 2020 and includes an analysis of how the overall number of awards made by QQI in 2020 was affected. 

The following were the key findings:

Further Education and Training

There has been a substantial decrease in the number of QQI awards achieved in the FET sector. The decline is more evident in relation to minor awards (down 27% from 2019) and at the lower levels of the NFQ (levels 1 to 4, on average down by 49% from 2019). While this decline is part of a general downward trend that the FET sector has been experiencing since 2014, the pandemic was found to have accelerated that trend.​

Higher Education

The changes observed in the number of QQI learners  and awards achieved in the HE sector were by and large part of a general upward trend observed since 2018. The disruptions in 2020 slowed this positive trend. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has boosted the popularity of micro-credentials (up by 21% from 2019).​​

You can read the report in full here.​​​