Institutional Research Concerns in Implementing Ireland's new Higher Education System Performance Framework
Institutional Research for Responsibility
Seamus O Shea et al, Institute of Technology Tralee, Ireland
Single presentation - 30 Minutes
This paper examines the extent to which Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are supporting the identified system level key performance indicators (skills needs, access, teaching and learning, research, engagement, internationalisation, system restructuring) in Ireland’s new Higher Education System Performance Framework (HESPF) and the challenges it is presenting for institutional research. An exploratory case study design frame is utilised, with cases drawn from small, medium and large HEIs. A concurrent triangulation design strategy is deployed with qualitative data drawn from interviews with 24 key informants and structured engagement with performance agreements, and quantitative data elicited from 92 questionnaires. Oliver’s (1991) strategic response framework was adapted for deployment in the study. Findings indicate a significant overlap between HEIs’ strategic objectives and the national key performance indicators, attributed mainly to global expectations and pre-existing policy channels. Institutional research capacity is a challenge for the smaller HEIs in responding to the requirements of the HESPF.