With the intention of collaboration and the harmonisation of our terminologies, after providing some constructive feedback on common terms, MicroHE is endorsing the EMPOWER glossary and the eSLP project‘s description of short learning programmes. The specific terms referred to in this survey are defined below.

Short Learning Programmes (SLPs) or short degree programmes are a group of courses (units, modules or other learning building blocks) with a common subject focussing on specific needs in society and which are part of larger degrees. Different typologies and names exist throughout Europe.

Definition from eSLP website

This definition is based on the suggested need within the Bologna structure and based on the changes in higher education offerings that have been initiated in online provision in the last 6 to 8 years.

According to the EMPOWER definition a qualification is an official completion of a course or programme of courses; any degree, diploma or other certificate issued by a competent authority attesting the successful completion of a higher education programme.

MicroHE expands on the “successful completion” aspect by stating that a qualification is a formal outcome of an assessment and validation process which is obtained when a competent authority or body determines that an individual has achieved learning outcomes to given standards. Qualifications from part of the European Qualification Framework.

A micro-qualification is a sub-unit of a qualification. While generally micro-qualifications are not mapped to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), some countries allow for this possibility (e.g. Malta) and non-EU countries copy the practice too (e.g. Singapore).

The EMPOWER definition simply states that a credential is a term sometimes used to refer to a qualification. eSLP complements this by adding that a qualification may not necessarily be a credit and that the term credentials is mainly used to indicate competences.

MicroHE described an educational credential, somewhat differently, as a documented statement that acknowledges a person’s learning outcomes or achievements.

A micro-credential is a sub-unit of a credential or credentials (could be micro, meso, mini, etc.) that could accumulate into larger credentials or be part of a portfolio.

Thank you for responding to our survey, your input is highly valuable to us and will inform our detailed analysis of micro-credential provision in Europe. Answering all questions should take you roughly 15 minutes.