Within the emerging European Higher Education Area, and in response to growing competition in the international higher education arena, the universities across the island of Ireland are actively looking at ways to promote closer cooperation and collaboration among themselves. This situation has developed rapidly since 1999, as a result of the evolving political situation in Ireland and a growing awareness of the implications of the Bologna Process.
Universities Ireland was established in 2003 as a new umbrella body to promote cooperation and collaboration among universities in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland . It builds on earlier cooperation between the universities at a number of levels. It organises regular meetings and conferences, and has launched projects in a number of fields of strategic interest to universities on both sides of the border.
One of these broad fields is the harmonisation of regulations between universities North and South, the awarding of joint degrees and the development of credit transfer arrangements. These are collectively seen by Universities Ireland as potential mechanisms to work towards its stated goal of improved inter-university cooperation across the island of Ireland . This goal should be seen in the light of maintaining and developing the island’s position in the European and global knowledge economy.
See the report [629 kb]