SETU hosts HEA launch of System Performance Framework 2023-2028

SETU hosts HEA launch of System Performance Framework 2023-2028

The System Performance Framework 2023-2028 was launched by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) at an event held at South East Technological University (SETU) in Carlow. The framework outlines parameters within which higher education institutions (HEIs) will set out their unique contribution to the achievement of national strategic priorities and outcomes, as appropriate to their mission, scale, location, and strategic plan.

Welcoming the launch, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, commented: “The publication of the new System Performance Framework represents a significant step forward in our ongoing journey towards creating a world-class higher education system that is accessible, adaptable, and aligned with the evolving needs of society.”

Speaking to attendees at the event, CEO of the HEA, Dr Alan Wall, commented: “I am delighted to launch the new System Performance Framework today and would like to thank institutions for their support and engagement throughout the framework’s development. The framework animates the HEA’s legislative responsibility to strengthen the performance of individual institutions and to ensure institutions’ accountability. The framework is also designed to be flexible and responsive, enabling institutions to demonstrate their unique input to the delivery of national priorities and the strength of the higher education and research system as a whole.”

Addressing event attendees, Professor Veronica Campbell, President of SETU said, “We were delighted to be asked by the HEA to host its launch of the System Performance Framework for 2023 – 2028, and this year’s Performance Funding awards. For these ambitions to be realised, our HEIs require a structural framework that facilitates individual institutions in pursuit of their own strategic priorities, while also ensuring that the system overall meets national goals. The system should strengthen public confidence in our higher education system and demonstrate the lasting positive impact of higher education on individual life stories, as well as on communities and the country as a whole.”

HEIs will identify performance objectives under each of the four pillars of the framework: Teaching and Learning; Research and Innovation; Access and Participation; and Engagement. These objectives will be set out in performance agreements. In their performance objectives, HEIs will reference the transversal areas of impact identified by the framework, reflecting national system-level priorities such as student success, climate and sustainable development, and digital transformation. Together, the pillars and transversals of the framework present institutions with a flexible mechanism to identify performance objectives that are aligned to institutional strategy and to address challenges and opportunities. 

At the launch, the framework was further discussed by a panel of experts from across Ireland’s higher education landscape who each represented one of the four pillars. The event also featured the announcement of the Performance Funding 2023 awards, recognising the positive performance of HEIs in contributing to national strategic priorities and policies. 

SETU’s Lifelong Learning team was recognised among the five HEI awardees for its longstanding work with An Cosán. An Cosán supports people who are embarking on alternative pathways to learning, including through higher education via its partnership with SETU. 

The HEA’s new System Performance Dashboard has gone live to coincide with the launch. This interactive data visualisation gives users an accessible overview of key system and institution level performance indicators aligned to the framework, providing a snapshot of system-level health.

Further information on the System Performance Framework 2023-2028 is available here.

Photo Caption: L-R. Richard Hayes, Vice President for Strategy at SETU; Dr Victoria Brownlee, System Performance Management at the HEA; David Denieffe, Vice President for Academic Affairs at SETU in Carlow; Prof. Veronica Campbell, President of SETU: Dr Alan Wall, CEO of the HEA; Teresa Gallagher, System Performance Management at the HEA; and Tim Conlon, Head of Policy and Strategic Planning, International Programmes and Gender Equality at the HEA.