Towards a European approach to micro-credentials: a study of practices and commonalities in offering micro-credentials in European higher education

Dominic Orr, Mantas Pupinis, Greta Kirdulytė
Analytical report, 2020

The growing use of micro-credentials is an outcome of competing societal and economic forces and macro-level trends, reflecting changing perspectives as to what individuals, employers and governments expect from higher education. The major macro-level trend contributing to the growing use of micro-credentials is the changing nature of the labour market and growing uncertainty as to what work will look like in the future. Fewer ‘jobs for life’ now exist, and employers demand flexibility and quick reactions to changing circumstances.

The main objective of this report is to provide a background analysis that will inform the European Commission with regard to the development, provision and recognition of micro-credentials. This will feed into a wider consultation and analysis for a European approach to micro-credentials.

The report focuses on the higher education sector, but where relevant, it also extends to other sectors. The report also provides a catalogue of best practices related to micro-credentials. These real-life examples of practices that have been successfully applied by higher education institutions as well as other education providers, businesses and public organisations, will allow stakeholders to move beyond abstract theoretical ideas, and will encourage the wider adoption of micro-credentials.

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