UNESCO gathers global experts to reflect on a common definition of micro-credentials

On 14 September 2021, 13:30-15:30 (UTC+2), UNESCO will hold a webinar on: “Moving towards a common language on micro-credentials”. The webinar will bring together experts from around the world providing a space for reflection on the proposed definition of micro-credentials and present UNESCO’s study on the topic.

Micro-credentials are increasingly promoted as a new and more flexible way of recognizing knowledge, skills and competences. Giving learners and employees the possibility to collect and combine smaller units of learning according to their specific needs, they are often promoted as building blocks that can facilitate lifelong and life-wide learning. However, progress with micro-credentials is hampered because, among other challenges, there is no commonly recognized definition that clearly communicates to users, particularly learners and employers, what micro-credentials are.

UNESCO is conducting a study to address these challenges aiming to propose a common language on micro-credentials, reached through consensus by a global panel of more than forty experts representing diverse regions and sectors.

The proposed definition is not intended to replace national or regional definitions. It is rather an attempt to distil what experts “agree that they agree on” so far about micro-credentials. It is intended as an umbrella statement that can be an international reference point, rather than a replacement, for established definitions. A common language on micro-credentials is an essential first step towards their wider use and recognition by employers and learners, and for facilitating mobility of learners and workers, increasing trust, and enabling lifelong learning for all.

The webinar will include a presentation of the preliminary report of the study’s findings by Professor Beverley Oliver. This will be followed by inputs and a live discussion panel among a number of experts in the field of credentials and qualifications, representing a global range of organizations and institutions. The webinar will be an opportunity to start a conversation on this important issue and share the findings of the preliminary report. The outcomes of the discussion will be an important input to the next steps of the study.