Through the Microcredentials Pilot in Higher Education, the Australian Government has authorized $32.5 million from 2021-22 to 2025-26 to assist higher education and training providers to design and deliver microcredentials for the international and domestic education sectors, in fields of national priority, in partnership with industry.
The Australian Government Department of Education has identified microcredentials as “small courses in a specific area of study, with a focus on upskilling and reskilling in short timeframes, to meet the needs of employers and industry.”
Three components of work include:
- Development of international microcredentials for delivery offshore. $8 million is earmarked for professional associations and commercial bodies to develop up to 70 globally relevant microcredentials for delivery offshore by licensed vocational education and training (VET) and higher education providers. The microcredentials will contribute credit towards full Australian qualifications and can be completed by international students online or onshore.
- Microcredentials pilot to test the development and delivery of microcredentials for domestic learners. $18.5 million is earmarked to establish a pilot for the development and delivery of microcredentials for the domestic market. Work is aimed at exploring a systemic approach to supporting microcredentials in the higher education sector. Higher education providers can apply for a share of $2 million to develop microcredentials in partnership with industry. Up to $100,000 is available for each microcredential; and $16.5 million will be provided from 2022-23 to 2025-26 to support the delivery of microcredentials to up to 4,000 students. The piloted microcredentials are in areas of national priority. The Department of Education is working with Jobs and Skills Australia to determine the skills needs and fields of study to be included ahead of the various funding rounds. Microcredentials must meet several criteria, including (1) being between 0.25 and 0.49 Equivalent Full Time Student Load; (2) credit pathways to formal qualifications; (3) robust assessment; (4) demonstrated industry engagement; and (5) credit recognition arrangements.
- Accelerating the expansion of the Government’s Australian Skills Classification. Expansion of the Australian Skills Classification, led by Jobs and Skills Australia, is supporting the pilot. The “Classification” explores connections between skills and jobs and is intended to be a “common language” for core skills. The Classification identifies three categories of skills for Australian occupations: (1) 10 core competencies common to all jobs to varying degrees of proficiency; (2) specialist tasks that describe the day-to-day work within an occupation; and (3) technology tools – software and hardware that are used in an occupation. The Classification groups similar skills into skills clusters. This enables the Classification to be explored by similar skills as well as occupations.
Microcredentials funded in Round 1 are required to be listed on the Government’s MicroCred Seeker website (previously called the Microcredentials Marketplace). The Round 1 pilot is open to higher education providers designing microcredentials with industry. Round 2 is open to all providers – higher education providers and non-university higher education providers to support the delivery of microcredentials, including microcredentials developed as part of Round 1.
ComponentsAlliances & Intermediaries Credentials & Providers Employers & Workforce International Developments Policy
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