The move comes in response to demand from learners to develop new knowledge, skills and competencies from shorter, recognised and quality-assured courses, which can also be used to earn traditional university qualifications.
The CMF launched at the recent EADTU-EU Summit 2019 in Brussels with the EMC’s founding platform partners, including FutureLearn, France Université Numérique, OpenupEd, Miríadax, and EduOpen.
“The world of work is changing fast and the world of learning is changing with it”
According to the EMC, the CMF will establish a framework for these goals to be achieved across Europe’s leading MOOC platforms and the universities within their networks.
Speaking on behalf of the EMC, Mark Lester, managing director for Educational Partnerships at FutureLearn explained that the world of work is changing fast and the world of learning is changing with it.
“As the forces of technological innovation drive change at an unprecedented rate, people will need to upskill and re-skill throughout their lives and develop higher order competencies that will underpin a successful career,” he said.
“Leaving work for long periods of time to earn a traditional qualification will be less applicable in this new world and a new solution is needed from the education sector to meet this growing need.”
To ensure high-quality standards, the CMF said microcredential courses must be capable of earning academic credit, be developed within the university’s national qualification framework and, in Europe, in line with the European Qualification Framework.
The microcredential courses will aim to be recognisable between different higher education institutions to create an ecosystem where learners can one day take microcredentials from within a network of universities that can be used towards a larger qualification, such as a postgraduate certificate or master’s degree.
“The current crop of microcredentials have so far popularised short forms of online learning among universities, but the proliferation of different types of microcredentials is becoming confusing to learners and employers,” added Lester.
“The EMC partners are proud to be collaborating, along with our respective university partners, to try to ensure there is greater consistency, quality and portability built into the microcredentials that we develop.”