QQI Insight: Quality in Irish Higher Education


QQI has published its latest 'Insight' report, QQI Insight, Quality in Irish Higher Education Institutions, which provides a thematic analysis of the annual quality reports (AQRs) submitted by higher education institutions in 2023 in respect of the 2021/22 reporting year. The report brings together for the first time analyses of quality reporting in both the public and private/independent HE sectors and includes a system-level analysis of sectoral trends in quality assurance and enhancement.

The system-level findings include:

  • a marked shift in emphasis away from the impact of the COVID-19 experience;
  • changes in institutional designation, status and levels of autonomy across the sector are impacting on QA, notably in the technological HE sector but with ambitions for greater autonomy also evident in submissions by private/independent HEIs;
  • a continued international focus is evident (including evidence of collaborative provision with European and international partners, articulation arrangements for student mobility, membership of European consortia and participation in international projects and activities);
  • A notable theme emerging across the AQRs was the leadership, ambition and commitment expressed in relation to the areas of equality, diversity & inclusion and the advancement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Within the domain of teaching and learning:
    • work to promote inclusion in pedagogical practices featured prominently;
    • digital pedagogies (inclusive of online, blended and technology-enhanced learning) are well established across the sector;
    • there is a continuing trend toward industry-aligned, employability-focused programme provision and associated pedagogies.
  • With regard to assessment:
    • work to progress alternative and authentic assessment strategies was visible; and
    • an expansion and mainstreaming of academic integrity was evident.