HEIR Network

Higher Education Institutional Research Network

About HEIR

Who we are
The UK and Ireland Higher Education Institutional Research (HEIR) network was established in 2008 to bring together institutional research (IR) enthusiasts and practitioners working in the UK and Ireland higher education sectors.
The HEIR network believes that IR is playing an increasingly important role in enhancing learning and teaching practice and providing timely and relevant evidence to aid management decision making at all levels within UK and Irish higher education institutions.
The network is coordinated by a voluntary Planning Group that focuses on supporting the network through providing networking opportunities and facilitating host institutions in organising the annual HEIR conference.
What we do
The activities of the network are focused on achieving the following four objectives:
  1. To build an IR community in the UK and Ireland that can help individuals develop their knowledge and expertise and contribute to the building of capacity for IR across the sector
  2. To be a forum for discussion around contemporary issues and for sharing ideas, experiences, practices and solutions to issues and problems
  3. To inform HE policy and practice through engaging directly with policy-makers
  4. To work with other bodies to aiming to impact on HE policy and practice
The network has organised sixteen successful conferences in Southampton (2008), Sheffield (2009), DCU, Dublin (2010), Kingston (2011), Liverpool (2012), Birmingham (2013) Oxford Brookes (2014), Paisley (2015), Liverpool John Moores University (2016), Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen (2017), the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) (2018), University of Wolverhampton (2019), University of Brighton (2020 online), the University of St Andrews (2021 online), and a Planning Group jointly hosted online conference in 2022. In 2023 we were delighted to be able to return to an in-person conference again and returned to Kingston University in September.

From 2021 we have also held a number of free online lunchtime sessions on themes such as Monitoring and Evaluation of Access and Participation Plans, the Future of National Student Surveys, the Guardian University Guide, data governance and the Equality Charter Frameworks.