Ireland is one of the largest exporters of software in the world and rates amongst the top five producers of pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals globally. The ever-increasing demands of this high technology economy have ensured that our higher education technological sector offers the highest and most advanced standards and opportunities available today.
Following a review of Higher Education by the OECD in 2004, overall responsibility for this sector has transferred from the Department of Education and Science to the Higher Education Authority (HEA) which also which oversees the work of the universities on behalf of the Department of Education and Science. This transfer was enabled by the 2006 Institutes of Technology Act, which granted greater levels of autonomy to the Institutes.
There are 13 institutes of technology located throughout the Republic offering programmes at levels 6 to 10 of the National framework of qualifications. These involve undergraduate programmes leading to higher certificate awards, Ordinary Bachelor degrees, Honours Bachelor degrees and postgraduate awards, both taught and by research, leading to Masters and Doctoral degrees, in a wide variety of subjects. Most have schools of Science, Engineering & Technology and Business. In addition many of the institutes have developed special programmes in areas such as Humanities & Languages, Paramedical Studies and Healthcare, Art & Design, and Tourism.
Each institute, following agreement of its quality assurance procedures with the Higher Education and Training Award Council, validates its own programmes. Additionally each institute, under delegated authority, under the Qualification Education and Training Act 1999, grants its own awards. All IOTs have delegated authority to make awards up to Level 9 (Masters) of the National Framework of Qualifications and about half of them have delegated awarding powers up to Level 10 (Doctorate). PhD degrees for the remainder are granted by HETAC. HETAC was established by the Government in June 2001, under the Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 1999. HETAC awards qualifications and sets and monitors standards at all levels of higher education and training up to PhD level.
The qualifications awarded by HETAC are internationally recognised by academic, professional, trade and craft bodies. In addition most colleges also have courses leading directly to the examinations of the many professional institutes.
Athlone Institute of Technology
Institute of Technology Carlow
Waterford Institute of Technology
Cork Institute of Technology
Dundalk Institute of Technology
Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology
Institute of Technology Tralee
Limerick Institute of Technology
Institute of Technology Tallaght
Galway Mayo Institute of Technology
Institute of Technology Blanchardstown
Institute of Technology Sligo
Letterkenny Institute of Technology