Good to Know – Defining the Framework for a Quality Assured Recognition of Micro Degrees and Micro Credentials



  • Prof. Dr. Elke Katharina Wittich, Leibniz University Hannover


Universities have always had a strong interest in mutual recognition of competencies. Against this background, it is one of the successes of the Bologna reform process that the challenges of this recognition have been transferred into a well usable recognition system. However, megatrends such as digitization and sustainability make it necessary to recognize competencies that focus on updating knowledge in highly dynamic fields and therefore need other forms of teaching and learning. Micro degrees in digital formats have recently enjoyed great success in education for this reason, as they are associated with the promise of meeting this high dynamic. However, micro degrees also raise many questions and have a certain explosive power: many points that are considered central for the quality assurance of academic education are not taken into account. This in turn makes the recognition of micro degrees difficult for universities. On the other hand, agreements such as UNESCO's Global Convention on Recognition (2019) highlight the particular relevance of this issue for lifelong learning.

The purpose of this paper is to present the systematic integration of competencies acquired through micro-degree programs into the university's program planning and quality assurance. In an all-institutional approach, the later recognition of micro degrees is planned on various levels, i.e. micro degrees can not only be used to impart specific competencies, but their offer also serves, for example, as an admission requirement for further master's degree programs or as a building block for the certification of additionally acquired competencies. On the one hand, Leibniz Universität Hannover's model is based on a way of thinking that focuses not on courses and degree programs but on learners' educational biographies. On the other hand, the model is based on a methodological approach that leads fundamentally from the individual to the whole and vice versa from the whole to the individual. 

Prof. Dr. Elke Katharina Wittich

Head of the Central Institution for further Education, Leibniz University Hannover
Prof. Dr. Elke Katharina Wittich was trained as a cultural scientist at the University of Hamburg and at Humboldt University in Berlin. Today, she heads the Central Institution for further Education at Leibniz Universität Hannover. She has many years of experience in science management, among other things from her time as founding president of a state-recognized private university. A particular focus of her work is program development and quality assurance.

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