Opportunities of introducing micro-qualifications (micro-credentials) in the Estonian education and vocation system based on international practice
Lifelong learning and flexible individual learning pathways are becoming increasingly important. Clear boundaries between formal, non-formal and informal learning, as well as between general and vocational education, are diminishing. To address this, it is reasonable to allow the learner to shape their learning path according to needs and abilities. This might be done by taking smaller modules or separate courses, which can then be considered as part of formal education curricula. On 1 July 2020, the European Skills Agenda was adopted, which is one of the initiatives to support the uptake, transparency and quality of micro- qualifications in the European Union. The introduction and support of micro-qualifications in Estonia is also described in several important plans, including the Education Strategy 2021-2035. At the same time, micro-qualifications, as part of non-formal (or formal) learning have very different in definitions, standards and systems among various national practices.
The aim of this project is to explore foreign practices in regards to the provision of micro-qualifications, to analyze the readiness of the Estonian vocational and education system to offer micro-qualifications, and to understand which system would best suit the Estonian context.
The results of the research, i.e. document analysis, national practices, and analysis of the Estonian context are going to be enhanced and supported with the focus group interviews involving key target groups from the education and vocational system.
The final report of the study will be completed in May 2021.