Where micro-credentials fail

All sorts of qualifications “need to foster human flourishing, not just knowledge and skills for work,” which is what micro-credentials don’t do, Leesa Wheelahan Uni Toronto) argues in her recent Jack Keating Oration at Uni Melbourne   

In an expansive address she argued the policy dominance of human capital theory has tied both vocational and higher education to the labour market, “education must be about work”.

But she warned micro-credentials, “shift the focus of investing in human capital from the enterprise to the individual.” And that m-cs, “atomise and fragment knowledge and skills … and, arguably contribute to the fragmentation of jobs, for example, in producing window framers and not carpenters, coders and not IT all-rounded specialists.”

Professor Wheelahan points to VET “skill-sets” as demonstrating that micro-credential outcomes “are weak” and do not address the core policy problem.

“How can we support students to gain credentials or qualifications that have value, and position them to undertake meaningful work and participate in society as citizens, parents, and political persons.”