MicroNet project webinar

5 June 2024, 10.30-12.30 CEST

Shorter forms of learning in higher education have existed many years. However, until recently, they were of little public interest and did not play a major role in most institutional and national strategies. This has changed due to the accelerated need for skills, including for the digital and green transitions, and to improve employability through re-skilling and up-skilling. Indeed, ‘micro-credentials’ have become a policy priority of the European Union, as well as in many national contexts, alongside a substantial increase in the numbers of higher education institutions providing such courses.

New developments in higher education usually come with high hopes and big concerns. Therefore, an upcoming webinar as part of the Erasmus+ MicroNet project will bring a sense of reality to often rather polarised scenarios by sharing institutions’ experiences of exploring micro-credentials and examples of national and European approaches.

For example, for learners and their employers there is the promise of better, quicker, cutting-edge, more flexible learning, with less barriers and at lower costs through micro-credentials. Meanwhile, providers look to better serving society and responding to skills needs - but may also look at micro-credentials as a new or additional income source, or even a new business model. In addition, policy makers see a way to boost lifelong learning in light of demographic change and rapid and unpredictable economic and societal transformation.

That said, there are also major concerns, such as loss of quality, challenges regarding the award and recognition of the micro-credentials, and that this might bring about a transition from reliable publicly owned structures and institutions providing reliable degrees to ‘gig education’.

During this webinar, institutions from different European countries will present their projects and share some of their successes and challenges. The discussions will also take into consideration the community of learners and external partners and analysis of the role and impact of system and European level policies and frameworks for the successful use of micro-credentials.  

 Welcome and introduction

  • Emma Francis, IUA
  • Michael Gaebel EUA

 Micro-credentials in HEIs – two case studies

  • Mags Arnold, University College Cork & UNIC Alliance, Ireland
  • Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Finland

 The Irish micro-credential portal

  • David Corscadden, IUA

 Experiences and expectations of micro-credentials –  business and societal perspective 

  • Mairead O’Connor, Skills Development Senior Manager, The Wheel
  • Natasha Kinsella, Dublin Regional Skills Fora Manager

 National policies and frameworks – two case studies

  • Nora Trench Bowles, Head of Lifelong Learning, Skills and Quality, IUA

  • Päivi Bosquet, Educational Advisor, Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland             

Panel discussions: Micro-credentials as gateways for institutional change

  • All speakers

Conclusions and next steps

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