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An examination of the implementation of Ireland’s new higher education system performance framework in a sample of higher education institutions
O'Shea, Seamus
An Examination of the Implementation of Ireland’s New Higher Education System Performance Framework in a Sample of Higher Education Institutions. Seamus O Shea, B.Sc., M.Eng. This research study seeks to examine the implementation of Ireland’s new higher education system performance framework (HESPF), through its first 2014-2016 three-year strategic compact cycle, in a sample of higher education institutions (HEIs). In particular, the study explores the extent to which the framework aids or inhibits institutional planning; whether institutional goals are being aligned with the national agenda; if the national performance indicators for the higher education sector are incentivising behaviour; and institutional capacity to support the national policy objectives. An exploratory case study design frame is used to address the research question, with cases drawn from small, medium sized, and large institutions in the Southern regional cluster. A concurrent triangulation design strategy is deployed with qualitative data drawn from 24 key informants and strategic compacts, and quantitative data elicited from 92 questionnaires. Oliver’s strategic response framework (Oliver 1991) was adapted for qualitative data analysis and factor analysis combined with ANOVA was utilised to investigate patterns and associations in quantitative data. The HESPF is generally considered a good concept that has resulted in improved accountability through a process of constructive dialogue between the HEA and HEIs. Strategic planning capacity building, self- reflection and institutional learning are regarded as strengths of the process. However, the process is regarded as not being conducted at a sufficiently strategic level, not enabled by funding, a bureaucratic overload, potentially open to deceptive tactics and there are mixed views on the extent to which it improves visibility on performance. The level of realism in the national KPIs was found to be questionable in the current funding environment and the KPIs are regarded as not impacting behaviour in any significant way. The results of this study shed light on key implementation issues in a strategic compact process that is generally aligned with the common characteristics of such performance agreements internationally (De Boer et al. 2015).
Keyword(s): Education; Higher Education, Higher Education Systems Performance Framework (HESPF)
Publication Date:
2018
Type: Other
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Contributor(s): O'Hara, Joe
Institution: Dublin City University
Citation(s): O'Shea, Seamus (2018) An examination of the implementation of Ireland’s new higher education system performance framework in a sample of higher education institutions. Doctor of Education thesis, Dublin City University.
Publisher(s): Dublin City University. School of Policy & Practice
File Format(s): application/pdf
Related Link(s): http://doras.dcu.ie/22577/1/14211751EdD%20Thesis%20Post%20Examination%2020%20August%202018.pdf
First Indexed: 2018-11-22 06:07:52 Last Updated: 2019-02-09 06:08:31