A Micro-credential is the evidence of the learning outcomes that a student has acquired after completing a Short Programme (STP). In addition, a Short-Term Programme (STP) is a typology of subject-specific courses that focus on the specific needs of society and can be part of a higher degree programme.
These programmes have become an opportunity to establish bridges between the academic and vocational training system and to promote lifelong learning.
ANECA has just carried out a study on quality assurance in European university alliances, European degrees and micro-credentials in the Spanish university system, which will be made public shortly.
After attending the webinar “Micro-credentials and the role of external quality assurance” given by ENQA last February, ANECA has carried out a study on the quality assurance of micro-credentials, associated to the multiple offer of short courses offered, not only by universities but, above all, by a wide variety of private training providers associated to companies, corporations, platforms, etc.
In the same way, AQU (Agència per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari de Catalunya) has been carrying out the assessment of short programmes since 2020. In the process, they have had the collaboration of the Secretariat for Universities and Research, the Public Employment Service of Catalonia (SOC) and the Consortium for Lifelong Learning in Catalonia. In addition to this, they had the participation of the Barcelona Digital Talent alliance, which includes, among others, the Mobile World Capital – Barcelona.
In this project, seven short-term programmes linked to the field of Information and Communication Technologies, which are taught in different Catalan universities, were evaluated.
Among the short-term programmes evaluated by AQU Catalunya, those linked to the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) catalogue of training specialisations, those with levels 2 and 3 according to the Catalan Qualifications Framework for Higher Education, and levels 4 and 5 of the National Catalogue of Professional Qualifications, and those with teaching loads of between 4 and 30 ECTS credits are particularly noteworthy.
With all this in mind, and given the objective of achieving lifelong learning for citizens, the Spanish government’s Minister for Universities, Joan Subirats, has incorporated PCDs into the draft of the Organic Law on the University System (LOSU). In short, the recognition of micro-credentials is in full growth and development.