26 November 2019 | EQAF Paper

A Study of the Relationship between Societal Engagement and Quality Assurance in Irish HEIs

Marie Gould (QQI), Holly Dubbs (QQI)

Higher education has an impact through social engagement. This paper examines, through a mixed methods approach, the relationship between internal and external quality assurance (QA) and community engagement activities of higher education institutions (HEIs) in Ireland.


It considers both the QA regulatory context and national policy context of community engagement in Irish HEIs. A review of the HEIs’ community engagement strategies and activities provides an understanding of how the institutions are addressing their third mission/societal engagement objectives, and an analysis of the annual institutional quality reports (AIQRs) and institutional review reports indicates how these activities are integrated within the institutional QA system. This relationship is further explored through the lens of a case study, and the perspectives and opinions of the HEIs and other stakeholders are sought through qualitative interviews to acquire a better understanding of how to enhance and improve practice and quality, as well as the obstacles the HEIs may encounter in doing so. 

This paper was presented at EQAF and reflects the views of the named authors only.

ISSN: 1375-3797

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