About HECA

Established in 1991, the Higher Education Colleges Association (HECA) is the representative body of Ireland’s independent higher education sector. HECA serves as a representative voice for twelve established and state accredited privately funded providers of higher education, advocating on behalf of and supporting its members in achieving their strategic goals.


The Mission of HECA is to increase awareness and understanding of the independent colleges higher education sector, in order to influence policy on behalf of our members.

In achieving its Mission, HECA actively facilitates a community of best practice and promotion of high-quality education amongst its members. Our members are located across Ireland, and renowned for excellence in teaching and learning and a unique education experience. All HECA members are state accredited in Ireland, providing Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI) validated programmes across a very diverse range of disciplines, between levels 6 and 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications. The student body within the HECA network of college providers is over 27,000.

We work with our members to shape and influence higher education policy directly through our engagement with policy makers and other stakeholders. Our relationships with government, private sector business and sectoral representative agencies are a key focus of our work in driving the agenda for higher education into the future.

Our work mainly falls into three main core functions:
1. Advocacy and Representation
2. Member Network
3. General Services

HECA is very proud of its consistent contribution to shaping national policy development within Irish higher education over the course of the last 3 decades.


Dorset LogoDbs LogoGC LOGOPrint


“A relatively new member of HECA, the Open Training College has benefited significantly by connecting into a network of independent education providers sharing a similar commitment to the enhancement of education. The HECA forum provides opportunities for discussion, debate, creativity and the sharing of ideas and approaches – in short a community of learning that enriches all concerned and ultimately contributes to excellence and quality in higher education.”
Karen Finnerty
Open Training College
“HECA has enhanced our opportunity to network and be closely connected to other higher education institutions in Ireland. It provides for a dynamic, interactive, environment where members can share experience on various facets of education and training delivery. HECA plays a vital role in actively representing the independent sector of higher education inIreland. This benefits our staff and students of course.”
Neil Gallagher
College of Computing Technology (CCT)
crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram