The growing popularity of micro-credentials is an outcome of competing societal and economic forces and macro-level trends, which reflect changing perspectives of what individuals, employers and governments expect from education. Recently, there has been efforts to define micro-credentials by different international bodies, education providers and academics. The European Commission is currently working on a common approach for micro-credentials to help widen learning opportunities and further shape lifelong learning dimension as well as to respond to the transforming European labour markets, especially influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic and digital and environmental transitions.
Given that research carried out on micro-credentials is mainly limited to higher education and universities, the key purpose of the study is to produce evidence on how micro-credentials are used by and for the labour market. This will be achieved through the implementation of three separate work assignments that will map and analyse three interconnected areas:
- The evolving role of micro-credentials in relation to labour market related education, training and learning, building on information provided by national stakeholders as well as representatives of labour market sectors.
- The evolving role of micro-credentials in the overall context of qualifications systems.
- The evolving role of micro-credentials in supporting end users, notably individuals seeking to promote and represent learning outcomes and experiences on a lifelong and life-wide basis.
PPMI, together with external experts, will carry out mapping of micro-credentials in EU-27 countries, Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom by implementing 8 in-depth case studies, systematic literature review, a survey and several interview programmes.