HECA was set up in 1991 by four National Council of Education Awards designated colleges and has since expanded to include 16 colleges. Over the past 20 years, HECA has become the recognised voice of independent higher level education in Ireland. It has made numerous submissions to QQI, HETAC, NQAI and HEA among others and has had a significant input into the development of independent third level education in Ireland.

HECA organises an annual Conference on various higher level education topics including Quality Assurance, Education and the Law, and the Skillbeck Report. This year’s Conference theme is Funding of Higher Education – Challenges and Solutions”.

Today, HECA’s main focus is on representing the independent third level sector by ensuring the highest standards of quality amongst its members.