Microcredentials - Virtual Study Abroad
Together with international partner universities, Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences (UAS) offers online courses that are open to all students at the partnering universities. These "Microcredentials" allow students to be virtually mobile and promote internationalization at home. The pilot phase of the Microcredential initiative starts in winter term 2020/21 in cooperation with Boise State University (USA) and XAMK University of Applied Sciences (Finland).
Why does Bielefeld UAS promote virtual mobility?
Internationalization and digitalization are strategic goals of Bielefeld UAS. They create synergies in the concept of virtual mobility: international exchange via digital communication channels. Virtual mobility is not meant to replace physical international exchange, but rather to complement it by providing the opportunity to get a taste of studying abroad at a low threshold and to gain international experience even when physical travel is not possible.
What are Microcredentials?
At Bielefeld UAS, Microcredentials are understood as online university courses which are open to both students enrolled here and students enrolled at partner universities. Foreign students can participate in these courses at a low threshold, i.e. free of charge and outside a mobility program. They finally receive a certificate of participation - a micro-credential.
What advantages do microcredentials offer?
With microcredentials, students can acquire compact knowledge about a subject area, earn credit points for their studies, gain international experience and take advantage of digital higher education programs. In the European Skills Agenda (July 2020) Microcredentials are therefore described as a future-oriented way of acquiring so-called future skills and sharpening the individual skills profile.
How do microcredentials work?
Together with the partner universities, Bielefeld UAS has selected suitable courses (online and in English) from the existing course offers and compiled a course catalog. Students enroll for courses at partner universities and - if they wish an accreditation - go through the usual steps for the recognition of foreign academic achievements at their home university.