RE-IMAGING LIFELONG LEARNING IN IRELAND
MicroCreds is an ambitious 5 year, €12.3 million project (2020-2025) led by the Irish Universities Association (IUA) in partnership with seven of the founding IUA universities: University College Dublin, University College Cork, University of Limerick, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, University of Galway and Maynooth University. We are the first European country to establish a coherent National Framework for quality assured and accredited micro-credentials. IUA project partner universities are collaborating to develop, pilot and evaluate the building blocks required for a transformation in lifelong learning through micro-credentials. Micro-credentials have the potential to reimagine and reframe the relationship between learners, universities, enterprise and civil society partners, generating a step change in lifelong and life-wide learning. Our aim is for MicroCreds to address the barriers to participation in lifelong learning, including time constraints for learners and inflexibility in current programme provision and delivery. The inherent flexibility in micro-credentials means that learners can access learning in discrete small units, at a time and pace which allows greater balance with both life and work commitments.
THAT MICROCREDS WILL LEAVE A LEGACY FRAMEWORK FOR MICRO-CREDENTIALS SUPPORTING ENGAGEMENT WITH LIFELONG LEARNING.
OUR PARTNER UNIVERSITIES
We work in partnership with learners and our Enterprise Advisory Group, comprising senior enterprise members from business representative organisations, enterprise agencies, private sector companies and state bodies with responsibility for skills to change thinking about and engagement structures with university learning. We are focused on learners who seek to up-skill, reskill, or change careers. Central to MicroCreds has been the development of a dynamic and sustainable model of enterprise engagement for micro-credentials, called MicroCreds Innovate. It is a sustainable model for data-informed university-enterprise collaboration for micro-credentials. The format provides space to explore enterprise-informed development in a focused way, increasing our universities’ capacity to anticipate, understand and respond to emerging skills needs at a granular level. Key skills focus areas for MicroCreds Innovate events to date have included Zero Carbon, Digital Transformation & Artificial Intelligence and SMEs, with a future focus on BioPharmaChem, Food & Agriculture, together with other sectors currently experiencing high-level skills needs.