Edition 223 - November 2019

Survey on the Irish Higher Education Sector 2019

Holders of senior positions in Irish higher education institutions answered a survey on the state of Irish higher education. Key strategic objectives, such as engagement with the skills agenda, cross institutional collaboration and the development of technological universities, have their support.

Respondents also support a bigger role for private providers and better balancing of the research, teaching and learning missions. Not surprisingly, funding is indicated as key weakness and regulation is seen as, you may guess, unnecessarily intrusive. Ironically, a lack of confidence in governance and management capacity in the sector is very high - the managers seem to distrust their counterparts.

In short, Irish research and higher education is strongly on board to continue its support for the society and economy but it requires some support in return, mainly funding and reform of governance and management structure.

Here are some figures:

  • Key strategic objectives are well supported
  • Only 31% or respondents agree that national higher education policy supports the outcomes which are aiming at leading positions globally
  • One third agrees that Irish institutions are successful in attracting world-class academics
  • 92% of respondents agree that higher education institutions should provide more “thought leadership” to Irish society
  • National policy does not support the contribution coming from private providers of higher education
  • 57% see the reform of academic and administration structures as essential in enabling the higher education system to achieve world leading status


BH Associates

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