Undergraduate Certificates Survive

There is a late reprieve for the qualification – due to be dropped this month

The qualification was created last year as an emergency measure for people who wanted to use pandemic downtime to retrain but UGs were not permanently accepted by state and federal ministers as part of the Australian Qualification Framework.

They still aren’t. The Department of Education, Skills and Employment tells universities that the national skills and education ministerial council has extended the UG class until June ’25.

This is good news for institutions that held their nerve and kept the certificates in their 2022 plan – although this will have taken considerable calm. In October DESE advised universities not to offer UGs for 2022 starters. The department accept this, acknowledges this, telling VCs, “the timing of the decision later in late 2021 has created uncertainty for universities and students as they planned for the 2022 academic year.”

What still appears unknown is whether UG Cert places will be funded above a university’s load but that certs survive will relieve strategists who believe they meet a need for recognising student accomplishments.

There is also a big policy issue, as post school credential architects continue to be baffled by microcredentials.  As Sean Brawley (Macquarie U) put it in CMM (October 24), the jump from a non-award micro-credential to a AQF accredited short course “is bigger than it need be” and UG certs can be a bridge between the two.