The HEA leads the strategic development of the Irish higher education and research system with the objective of creating a coherent system of diverse institutions with distinct missions, which is responsive to the social, cultural and economic development of Ireland and its people and supports the achievement of national objectives.
The HEA has a statutory responsibility, at central government level, for the effective governance and regulation of higher education institutions and the higher education system.
In exercising our mandate the HEA works to ensure that –
we have due regard to institutional autonomy and academic freedom;
institutional strategies are aligned with national strategic objectives,
agreed objectives (detailed in compacts with institutions) are delivered through effective performance-management at institutional and system-levels.
Objectives span the enhancement of teaching and learning, the promotion of equity of access to higher education, the enhancement of institutions’ responsiveness to the needs of wider society, research capacity-building, and the internationalisation of Irish higher education. The HEA leads in developing the evidence-base which underpins strategic planning and strategy implementation at institutional, regional and national level.