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The Higher Education Policy Research Unit (HEPRU) is an interdisciplinary research unit located within the Centre for Social and Educational Research (CSER). As the only research group in Ireland looking at questions of strategic and policy concern to the future of higher education in Ireland, HEPRU has established a strong international reputation for comparative policy research and analysis, and higher education assessment and evaluation. 

HEPRU is an international partner in the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE), based in the Institute of Education, University College London. CGHE is the largest unit in the world dedicated to researching higher education, with three broad research programmes, based on global, national and local perspectives on higher education. HEPRU's focus within CGHE is the global governance of higher education, and Ellen Hazelkorn is a founding member of CGHE, and a member of the Advisory Board and Management Committee.

HEPRU works closely with international and higher education organizations (e.g. the OECD, UNESCO, International Association of Universities (IAU), European University Association (EUA), European Centre for Strategic Management of Universities (ESMU), and Higher Education Authority of Ireland (HEA), in addition to national governments and higher education institutions (HEIs) in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jamaica, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, the UAE, and private foundations.

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HEPRU provides opportunities for postgraduate studies by research leading to a Masters or PhD, and welcomes international scholars.