Speakers

Name

Dr Liz Marr

Title and Position

Pro-Vice-Chancellor : Students

Institution/Organisation

The Open University UK

Country

UK

Short bio

Dr Liz Marr is Pro-Vice-Chancellor: Students at The Open University. Her responsibilities include the student experience, student voice, student engagement and student satisfaction and she also has oversight of student employability, widening access and success  and Quality Monitoring and Enhancement (QME). Liz has over thirty years of experience in teaching and learning in  UK Higher Education with  particular interest in social justice and social mobility. She is passionate about opening opportunity for all who wish to participate in learning, both formally and informally. She is currently Vice President of the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities, having recently completed a two year term as President.

 

Short description of institution/organisation and how it engages with/uses/promotes micro-credentials

The Open University is  UK’s   largest university  and is unique in having no prior qualification entry requirements at undergraduate level. Our students are mostly part time, study at a distance, mainy on line with some face to face support on some courses. Our provision is modular and our most popular degree is the Open Programme in which students can design their own pathways.

The OU is joint owner, with the Australian company, Seek,  of Futurelearn.  Through this platform our intent is to extend our reach to more and different learners by the provision of microcredentials. We are using the Common Microcredential Framework developed by the European MOOC consortium and EADTU. Our microcredentials all carry credit, have industry endorsement and are stackable, although they do not need to be stacked to have value as Continuous Professional Development

 

Name

Frederik De Decker

Title and Position

Head of International Relations Office

Institution/Organisation

Ghent University

Country

Belgium

Short bio

Frederik is currently the Head of the International Relations Office at his alma mater Ghent University (Belgium). He also started his professional career in internationalisation there, more than 25 years ago, triggered by his own study abroad experiences in The Netherlands and Poland. Previously he had different responsibilities related to internationalisation and educational policy in various Belgian higher education institutions. The last jobs he held before returning to Ghent University were head of the Office for educational development and internationalisation at Artevelde University Of Applied Sciences (2000-2006) and senior education advisor (advising the board in various educational policy matters) at the umbrella organisation Ghent University Association (2006-2014).

He participates regularly as an expert in international projects, mainly dealing with internationalisation, educational development, qualifications frameworks and quality assurance. Topics he frequently addresses as an (invited) speaker at conferences and publishes regularly about. He also chairs and participates in various advisory boards re. these themes at the Flemish level, e.g. the Working Groups on internationalisation of the Flemish Education Council (Council for Higher Education) and the Flemish Interuniversity Council. His special interests are the concept of (international/intercultural) learning outcomes/competences; micro-credentials; inclusive mobility and sustainable internationalisation.

Short description of institution/organisation and how it engages with/uses/promotes micro-credentials

Ghent University, founded in 1817, is a top 100-university and one of the major universities in Belgium. Our 11 faculties offer a wide range of courses and conduct in-depth research within a wide range of scientific domains. We are a pluralistic university that is open to all students, regardless of their ideological, political, cultural or social background. Our credo is ‘Dare to think’ which inspires our almost 45,000 students (12% international). With 15,000 employees (of which 6,000 in the University Hospital), we are also an important and value-driven employer in the region. Innovation, also in our education, and international cooperation are core values to which we abide. We offer our students flexible learning paths, with ‘credit certificates’ for all successful courses (‘micro-credentials’) and recognition of prior formal learning as well as prior informal and non-formal learning is part of our daily practice. We are currently experimenting with badges to reward student engagement and in our newly approved lifelong learning policy, micro-credentials will be one of the key elements.

 

 

Name

Klara ENGELS-PERENYI

Title and Position

Policy Officer

Institution/Organisation

European Commission

Country

Belgium

Short bio (200 words max)

Klara Engels-Perenyi is Policy Officer at the European Commission. In the higher education policy unit of the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture Klara is responsible for the Bologna Process and for the policy areas quality assurance and the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). Klara is working currently on the development of a European Approach to micro-credentials.

Short description of institution/organisation and how it engages with/uses/promotes micro-credentials (max 200 words)

The European approach to micro-credentials is a joint agenda from Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, responsible for innovation, research, culture, education and youth, and Commissioner Schmit, responsible for jobs and social rights.

This joint initiative has been announced in the European Skills Agenda published on 1 July 2020, as one of its 12 flagship actions to support the quality, transparency and uptake of micro-credentials across the EU.  It has been further elaborated in the Communication on achieving the European Education Area by 2025, published on 30 September 2020.

A European approach to micro-credentials will increase personalised learning opportunities for all. It will strengthen the role of higher education and vocational education and training institutions in promoting lifelong learning by providing more flexible and modular learning opportunities. Micro-credentials are useful not only for professionals interested in upskilling or reskilling to overcome the gap between the learning outcomes of their initial formal qualifications and emerging skills needs in the labour market, but can also complement the curriculum for students at Bachelor, Master and Doctoral Levels.

The European approach to micro-credentials will have a wider scope than higher education, addressing micro-credentials in all fields of education and training as well as in the labour market. The Commission will present a Council recommendation on micro-credentials for lifelong learning and employability end of 2021.

Name

Hanne Shapiro

Title and Position

Self employed

Institution/Organisation

Hanne Shapiro Futures

Country

Denmark

Short bio

Hanne Shapiro was for many years first dirctor of a centre for Policy analysis at Danish Technological Institute and later innovation director. Almost 4 yars ago she decided to become independent to pursue her rsearch interests in greatr detail. Hanne Has worked in the interface between lifelong learning and technological change for a good bid of her career in national context for the Commisison, the OECD, UNESCO, and World Economic Forum. She is member of a major research effort funded  by Singapore with the title «  reimaging learning and working in a digital conomy « . She has mor recently supported the European Commission in the efforts of developing a European approach to micro-credentials, and she is in that context in particularly interested in aspects relating to business model innovation in the higher education sector and the role of universities in facilitating mor fluid forms of learning interfacing to collaborative forms of innovation and research and th enabling potentials of digital technologies.

Short description of institution/organisation and how it engages with/uses/promotes micro-credentials

As a policy analyst and social scientist my  contributions primarily concerns change of complex systems and governance of reform including the role of policy experimentation in models of co-creation of reform efforts such as micro- credentials

 

Name

Nora Trench Bowles

Title and Position

Policy and Research Officer

Institution/Organisation

Irish Universities Association

Country

Ireland

Short bio

Nora is Policy and Research Officer at the Irish Universities Association (IUA). She works directly with the seven university Registrars/ Vice-Presidents Academic and Directors of Quality, co-ordinating key sectoral positioning, initiatives and projects covering areas including the national skills agenda, lifelong learning, teaching and learning, national qualifications framework policy, quality assurance and enhancement, and recognition of prior learning. She is the IUA’s primary liaison with the state agency on quality and qualifications, QQI.

 

Nora is a key member of the team responsible for developing the IUA ‘Towards a Multi-Campus Micro-Credentials (MC2) system in Irish Universities’ project and driving its initial implementation. The MC2 project was awarded €12.3 million in competitive funding under the Irish government’s Human Capital Initiative Pillar 3 (Innovation and Agility), 2020-2024. She was nominated by the Department (Ministry) of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science as a member of the Irish delegation on the MICROBOL project – an EHEA project looking at micro-credentials in context of Bologna Process key commitments and tools – and member of Working Group on Qualifications Frameworks and ECTS.

Short description of institution/organisation and how it engages with/uses/promotes micro-credentials  

As ‘The Voice of Irish Universities’, the Irish Universities Association (IUA) represents, supports and advocates on matters of shared sectoral concern for our seven university members. We are committed to advocating on behalf of the universities as key contributors to the economic, social and cultural well-being of Ireland. Our priority is to ensure that the university education system is adequately resourced and prepared for the challenges of the future.

 

Over 2020-2024, the IUA’s ‘Towards a Multi-Campus Micro-Credentials (MC2) system in Irish Universities’ project seeks to establish a national framework for quality assured and accredited micro-credentials. This framework will facilitate the development of an innovative programme of micro-credentials across Ireland’s seven universities; modes of delivery will include digital, blended and face-to-face. The MC2 project will provide for enterprise-informed development and help to increase university capacity to extract and adapt high-demand modules from existing programmes, and develop courses tailored to meet the needs of enterprise and learners.

 

The MC2 project will provide a basis for meaningful higher education

system change to support skills development across enterprise and throughout the country for the benefit of all in Ireland’s 21st century knowledge economy.

 

 

Name

Julia Ziyatdinova

Title and Position

PhD in Education,

Head for the Department of Foreign Languages for Profesional Communication

Institution/Organisation

Kazan National Research Technologicl University

Country

Russian Federation

Short bio 

Julia Ziyatdinova has a specialist degree (equal to MA) in teaching English and Turkish as foreign languages (1999). She also has minor degrees in Management (1998) and Psychology (1999).

Julia joined the team of Kazan State Technological University as an instructor at the Department of Foreign Languages in 1999. She has been the Head of this department since 2007,  under the new name of Department of Foreign Languages for Professional Communication. The teaching and research priorities of her department were then focused on professional and intercultural communication for students in engineering education. In 2011, the University obtained the status of a National Research University and joined the Russian Top 50 list, Julia was offered a position of Director of International Affairs. She started many new international contacts at the university bringing Erasmus+ programs. At the same time, she continued research and in 2016, she defended her doctoral thesis in engineering education internationalization. In 2018, she focused on several ongoing international projects under her leadership, and left the position at International Affairs though still being with the University international contacts. She is also responsible for the School of foreign languages which offers minor degrees in languages to engineering students in many cases similar to micro-credentials.

 

 

 

 

Short description of institution/organisation and how it engages with/uses/promotes micro-credentials

Kazan National Research Technological University (https://www.kstu.ru/knrtu/article.jsp?id_e=39650) is in the top list of Russian universities offering a broad range of Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD degrees and focusing on engineering. At the same time, the University is well known in Russia for continuing education and life-long learning programs for students, university staff and industry. It offers a wide range of upskilling and reskilling programs. In recent years, these programs have changed their format, many of them are going online, in a shorter time and a more engaging manner, thus acquiring the characteristics of what is called micro-credentials. Moreover, some short-term upskilling courses can further accumulate and result in a reskilling certificate. For engineering students, the most popular courses are foreign languages, psychology and management, while industrial partners often request tailored upskilling courses related to nanotechnologies, automation, control, waste water treatment and workplace safety in chemical industry.

 

Name

Rasmus Benke-Aberg

Title and Position

Director

Institution/Organisation

Erasmus Student Network

Country

Sweden (nationality), Belgium (where I live)

Short bio 

Rasmus Benke-Åberg is the Director of ESN and he has a thorough experience in policy work in the European level and a deep understanding of the educational landscape in Europe. He co-founded ESN’s International Committee on Education in 2009, he has been a Steering Committee member of the Lifelong Learning Platform and he has also been Secretary General of the Organising Bureau of European School Student Union (OBESSU).

Rasmus has a Bachelor in Political Science and a Master in International and European Relations from Linkoping University, with exchange studies in both Malaysia and Czech Republic. He has also worked as International Coordinator at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm.

 

Short description of institution/organisation and how it engages with/uses/promotes micro-credentials

ESN is very engaged in the development/improvement of the current and future Erasmus Programme. ESN is in regular contact with key stakeholders, including the European Commission, to work on European-level education topics. The particular topic of micro-credentials is very new to ESN and we have not worked on it yet.

 

Name

Russell Brooks

Title and Position

Associate Director, Executive Education and Online Learning

Institution/Organisation

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Country

UK

Short bio  

Russell Brooks is Associate Director – Executive & Online Learning at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is responsible for the development, marketing and delivery of LSE’s programmes for professionals and senior executives. Since joining the school in 2016, Russell has overseen the establishment of LSE’s online education programme including a portfolio of Online Certificate Courses and undergraduate degrees. Before joining the LSE he spent eight years working at Cancer Research UK, where he was Head of Strategy & Operations (Philanthropy and Partnerships) and part of the team who delivered a successful £100 million capital appeal to fund the charity’s contribution to the construction of the Francis Crick Institute.

Short description of institution/organisation and how it engages with/uses/promotes micro-credentials  

LSE is one of the world’s leading social science universities. The LSE was founded in 1895 on the basis that business and government needed new training and new research-informed ideas to improve how things were done. Back then, those goals were achieved through what would today be called microcredentials : in-person short courses.

Today the format has changed, but the goals remain the same. Launched 3 years ago, LSE’s portfolio of Online Certificate Courses has allowed 16,500 participants from over 179 countries to experience an LSE education and upskill in new skills or subjects. The portfolio extends to 24 courses drawn from across LSE’s range of subject specialisms.

 

Name

Elisabeth Hassek-Eder

Title and Position

Dr., Project Manager

Institution/Organisation

WKÖ Wirtschaftskammer Österreich (Austrian Economic Chamber)

Country

Austria

Short bio  

At Austrian Economic Chamber, Dr. Hassek-Eder is responsible for the development and communication of education and training paths that facilitate upskilling of professionals. She also serves on the NQF Advisory Board, which draws up advisory opinions for the assignation of qualifications to the National Qualifications Framework. With a background in the Austrian Economic Chamber’s own WIFI, Austria’s largest non-state VET institution, she is familiar with the need for acceptance of certificates in the business sector and has first-hand knowledge of the practical side of service delivery by VET institutions.

Dr. Hassek-Eder also brings long-standing professional experience in academia to the table. Before joining Austrian Economic Chamber, she was a research associate at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and subsequently at the University of Vienna. Moreover, she has taught university courses in Business English, Marketing, International Marketing and Academic Writing at different academic institutions for many years.

Short description of institution/organisation and how it engages with/uses/promotes micro-credentials   

Austrian Economic Chamber represents all enterprises that make up the business sector in Austria. Moreover, it is the largest provider of VET in the country. Besides being in charge of administering apprenticeship and master craftsmanship exams on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Digital and Economic Affairs, it operates numerous VET institutions, several Universities of Applied Sciences and two Private Universities. Austrian Economic Chamber promotes the attractiveness of VET qualifications and permeability between VET and academic education.

Austrian Economic Chamber is primarily interested in the value of micro-credentials from an employer perspective and favours an understanding of micro-credentials based on learning outcomes relevant for employability, which takes both trustworthiness and demand-orientation into account. While being fully aware of the need for transparent standards that guide quality assurance of micro-credentials, Austrian Economic Chamber would not favour an overly formal approach as this could jeopardize the flexibility and speed essential in developing qualifications relevant to both individuals and enterprises in the labour market.

 

Name

Henri Pirkkalainen

Title and Position

Associate Professor of Information and Knowledge Management

Institution/Organisation

Tampere University (TAU)

Country

Finland

Short bio  

Henri Pirkkalainen, Ph.D. (Male) is associate professor in TAU. He has wide experience as the coordinator of multiple national and international (EU-)projects, focusing on digitalization and the adoption of micro-credentials. He has mainly focused on topics of educational technology adoption and co-creation of ideas in the educational communities and innovation processes in education/business environments. He is currently involved with research on micro-credentials and blockchain for education with projects such as ECIU University, MicroHE and OEPass. On top of this collaboration, he has taken on a coordinating or a researcher role in EU-projects such as OpenScout, Open discovery space and Open Educational Ideas and Innovations, which all deal with digitalization of education. He has published various papers in journals and conferences such as (Journal of Management Information Systems, Information systems journal, Computers and Education, Business and Information Systems Engineering BISE, IEEE transactions on learning technologies, Computers in Human Behavior, Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management, CSEDU and so on.

Short description of institution/organisation and how it engages with/uses/promotes micro-credentials  

Tampere University is one of the most multidisciplinary universities in Finland. Almost all internationally recognised fields of study are represented at our university.

Tampere University awards nearly 4,000 degrees annually. About one-third of them are awarded in technological fields and about a quarter in social sciences.

The University has over 19,000 degree students of whom

    9,300 study for the bachelor’s degree

    7,600 for the master’s degree

    2,400 for the doctoral degree

    3,000 new degree students are admitted per year

In addition, 1,400 students are training as medical specialists.

The University annually produces approximately 3,200 scientific publications. Of them, 34% represent the top or leading level and 66% the basic level.

We annually produce about 1,300 international co-authored publications and 350 publications authored in co-operation with businesses. TAU is actively developing new methods and approaches for recognition of skills and micro-credentials

 

Name

Katrien Bardoel

Title and Position

Senior policy officer

Institution/Organisation

Nuffic

Country

Netherlands

Short bio  

Katrien Bardoel is a senior policy officer at Nuffic. She is responsible for development and coordination of EU funded projects, aimed at streamlining recognition of foreign qualifications within the EHEA. Before joining Nuffic she worked at Leiden University where she coordinated an international research programme.

Short description of institution/organisation and how it engages with/uses/promotes micro-credentials

Nuffic is the Dutch organisation for internationalisation of education. Nuffic houses the Dutch ENIC-NARIC centre that is responsible for recognition of foreign qualifications and information provision about education systems. Since 2016 Nuffic has been working on recognition of microcredentials and other short (online) programmes. Together with other ENIC-NARIC centres we have developed a methodology, based on 7 criteria, to recognise microcredentials. More information is available here: https://www.nuffic.nl/en/subjects/recognition-projects/e-valuate