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Tilburg University awards first micro-credentials

Published: 02nd February 2023 Last updated: 02nd February 2023

Tilburg University last week awarded its first micro-credentials to professionals who successfully completed the course Taalwetenschap (Linguistics). Micro-credentials play a key role in Lifelong Development, a centerpiece in Tilburg University's strategy.

Tilburg University offers this course through the Alfa4all partnership. This is a joint initiative of the Humanities/Arts schools of the Dutch universities. It offers a solution to those who would like to do a grade one teacher-training program but lack the subject-specific knowledge to do so. Utrecht University recently awarded its first micro-credentials for Lange lijnen in de literatuur (Long Lines in Literature), another Alfa4all course.

This week, TIAS School for Business and Society, the business school of Tilburg University and Eindhoven University of Technology, also awarded its first micro-credentials, for the Information Technology Innovation course. Soon, the first micro-credentials will also be awarded for the course Duurzame vastgoedontwikkeling (Sustainable Real Estate Development).

What are micro-credentials?

A relatively new concept, micro-credentials are gaining increasing attention both in the Netherlands and internationally. They certify the learning outcomes acquired by a learner after a short learning experience. These learning outcomes have been assessed against transparent standards. Micro-credentials contribute to flexible and targeted ways of continuously developing knowledge, skills, and competencies, and they therefore play a key role in Lifelong Development, a centerpiece of Tilburg University's strategy.


National pilot

Tilburg University, working together with TIAS School for Business and Society, has been participating in the national pilot "Micro-credentials for Professionals" of the Acceleration Plan for Educational Innovation with ICT since October 2021. In this national pilot, Tilburg University, together with other research universities and with universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands, is investigating how micro-credentials contribute to education.

The ultimate goal of the pilot is to arrive at a system of micro-credentials that have a recognizable and identifiable value for the target group of professionals. Micro-credentials grant a quality mark to short-term units of education, offering the paying participant/employer a guarantee that the course is designed to achieve learning outcomes and to meet educational accreditation levels.

The pilot is still running and Tilburg University will consider which other courses in its portfolio might also qualify for micro-credentials.