With the growing need for lifelong learning, new forms of continuing education are starting to emerge. In addition to postgraduate programmes, lectures and study days, micro-credentials are perhaps the best answer to this increasing need.
In short, they are small, brief study programmes at an academic level, aimed at acquiring competences. The competences that you will develop through a given programme are specified in advance and an evaluation at the end of the programme will gauge whether you have acquired them. This means that there will always be a test or exam. When you pass, you are awarded a certificate as proof and you acquire credits. This is where micro-credentials differ from other continuing education programmes, study days or lectures. The credits and competences will be recognized during your further career and can, for example, also lead to exemptions during further study programmes; also at other institutions and organisations.
The main difference is size. They are literally ‘micro-study programmes'. Both in terms of duration and ECTS size, micro-credentials are much smaller than other study programmes. You can complete them within one semester or one academic year.
The aim is also different: micro-credentials focus on very specific competences, while other programmes cover a more substantive range of topics and lead to graduation with a diploma.
On the other hand, they’re similar primarily in the context of acquiring credits and certification as proof of your acquired competences. Micro-credentials are often made up of components or content out of bachelor's and master's degree programmes.
It depends on the micro-credential you want to enrol in. We offer programmes that focus on specialisation, but also programmes that focus more on broadening one’s knowledge or aim at reorientation or self-development. Study programmes in the first category may require a diploma or other prior competences because they focus on new evolutions within a subject area or on specific needs and questions in a particular industry or field of knowledge.
Other micro-credentials don’t have strict admission requirements. Of course, this doesn’t mean that they are easier. All programmes are at an academic level.
Micro-credentials offer multiple benefits to students. They are short study programmes and are specifically aimed at developing certain competencies; you only learn what you need to retrain or specialise. In addition, the certificate attests the competences you acquired and the credits are transferable and are often also recognised abroad. You can also endlessly combine and stack micro-credentials, depending on your needs and interests.
The system of micro-credentials is viewed as an important contributing factor to the stimulation of lifelong learning. After all, in our rapidly changing society, it’s important that everyone continues to work on renewing and developing their own competences. The end of a 'traditional' study programme doesn’t imply the end of knowledge acquisition. Micro-credentials are blocks, as it were, that you can stack and combine throughout your career in order to further give direction to your career and refine your competences.
Micro-credentials generally follow the same regular tuition fees as bachelor's and master's programmes, which are calculated per ECTS credit. The more ECTS credits a programme has, the higher the cost. For example, a micro-credential of 10 credits costs 375 euros.
We are fully committed to offering blended education; a combination of online classes and on-campus classes. Therefore, for example, students don’t have to be physically present on campus if it isn’t strictly necessary, but we also believe in the added value of physical teaching moments. If there is compulsory attendance for a particular programme, this will be clearly communicated in advance. This way you can work out for yourself whether the two can be combined.