Progress on micro-credentialing in Australia gained momentum in the industry in 2019 and received a considerable boost in 2020 via the Federal Government’s relief package, with 392 short courses rolled out across 55 providers.
Former Education Minister, Dan Tehan, told the Australian Financial Review in August:
“We want micro credentials to be a permanent fixture of the Australian higher education system giving universities the opportunity to become global leaders in the development and delivery of a new mode of education that will open new markets and revenue streams.
“The rapid development of micro credentials has demonstrated that universities are innovative, entrepreneurial and responsive to the needs of students and industry. We need to harness those qualities to drive our post COVID recovery.”
The question of accreditation is challenging. After all, employers need to have confidence they are comparing apples with apples when assessing candidates. Our research suggests the attitudes of students have reached the ‘sweet spot’ for broader adoption.
It also found students are now more open to changing their place of study to get a better technology experience. After a year spent mostly on-line, it’s perhaps not surprising what was once a ‘nice to have’ has become a fundamental part of the experience.
Taken together, the results of our research suggest that student ‘stickiness’, what consumer marketers more commonly call brand loyalty, is likely to be more difficult to achieve in a post-COVID education sector and that the bar for technology experience has been raised.
The sector undoubtedly faces difficult years ahead---there is no simple way to wave away the impact of the loss of international students, for example. But the silver lining is that there is now a significant momentum around innovation…and great student focussed technology will continue to sit right at its heart.