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Microcredentials: what are they, and will they really revolutionise education and improve job prospects?

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The author does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

In June 2020, then education minister Dan Tehan together with employment minister Michaelia Cash, announced A$4.3 million for a microcredential “marketplace”. This would, they said, provide a nationally consistent platform to compare course outcomes, duration, mode of delivery and credit value.

The announcement came when universities were losing money from COVID border closures that locked out international students. It showed the importance the federal government placed on funding microcredentials over offering other forms of financial assistance to the higher education sector, such as ensuring staff were eligible for JobSeeker.

When announcing the marketplace, Tehan said : Microcredentials address the most common barriers cited by adult workers who are not intending to undertake further formal training or study: time and cost. More recently, Universities Australia released a new guidance document for making microcredentials portable across Australia. This was done to help “universities and other educational institutions develop short-duration qualifications that are easily recognised and built upon between institutions”.

So, what are microcredentials, and why are they seen to be so […]

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