image/svg+xml Map of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) Map of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) A blank map of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and countries fully surrounded by the EHEA. Every country has an id which is its ISO-3116-1-ALPHA2 code in lower case. Members of the EU have a class="eu", all EHEA countries have a class="europe", non-EHEA countries have a class="nonehea". Image based on by Júlio "Tintazul" Reis and Marian "maix" Sigler. Made by Colin Tück, EQAR, 2017 Released under CreativeCommons Attribution ShareAlike (
  • Governmental membership
    Ireland has been a Governmental Member of EQAR since August 2008.

    Map: EHEA countries by governmental membership

  • General information on higher education

    Ireland’s higher education system is a binary system with universities and institutes of technology.

    The Universities Act of 1997, Institutes of Technology Act 2006 and the Technological Universities Act of 2018 set out the objects and functions of a university, an institute of technology or a technological university, and the structure and role of governing authorities. 

    The oversight and quality assurance of the higher education sector is ensured by the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), the statutory quality assurance body for higher education and by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), the statutory funding, planning and policy-development body in Ireland.

  • National external quality assurance requirements

    Depending on the type of higher education institution, providers in Ireland may have self-awarding powers, delegated awarding powers (after having been succesfully externally reviewed) and independent providers, whose programmes have to be accredited by an external quality assurance agency.

    • Institutional reviews
      The aim of review is to provide an independent external review of the institution’s own internal quality assurance procedures.

    • Programme validation
      Not required for eight universities together with the Dublin Institute of Technology and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, which have degree awarding powers i.e. the possibility to validate and award their own qualifications

    • Delegated authority to make awards
      will exempt education providers to undergo an external programme validation procedure.

    • Focused reviews
      may lead to withdrawal of approval of a QA procedures. The procedures is invoked if there are reasons for concern with a particular higher education provider.

  • EHEA key commitment

    Fully aligned with the ESG

    A fully functioning quality assurance system is in operation nationwide, in which all higher education institutions are subject to regular external quality assurance by an agency that has successfully demonstrated compliance with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the EHEA (ESG) through registration on EQAR

  • Cross-border quality assurance

    Not recognising foreign agencies as part of the national external QA requirements

  • European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes

    European Approach available to some higher education institutions or only under specific conditions

    A number of universities have self-awarding powers giving them the possibility to validate and award their own qualifications. They can employ the European Approach for the quality assurance of joint programmes. Providers with awarding powers delegated to them by QQI i.e. institutes of technology may also employ this approach.

    Map: availability of the European Approach for QA of Joint Programmes

Registered agencies operating in Ireland