Faculty Voice: On Academic Credibility in Micro-Credentials at BC’s Research Universities

The Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC (CUFA BC) released a white paper “Faculty Voice: On Academic Credibility in Micro-Credentials at BC’s Research Universities” in March 2021.

Governments and policymakers have recently been advancing the concept of micro-credentials—small units of educational achievement with a variety of pathways and purposes—into the post-secondary sector. Proponents cite flexibility for students, adaptability to the workforce, and nimbleness to technological change as reasons micro-credentials need to be quickly and fully integrated into the sector. Critics are cautious that for-credit micro-credentials may put the integrity of established degrees and the academic mission of post-secondary institutions as a whole at risk if they are not adopted prudently and with proper oversight.

Micro-credentials can be successfully introduced within the post-secondary sector, but they need to be done strategically. Throughout this document, we

  • situate micro-credentials within the context of BC’s public research universities;
  • highlight the potential benefits and shortcomings of micro-credentials;
  • articulate the role of faculty and senates in the development and delivery of micro-credentials;
  • conduct an environmental scan of micro-credentials in BC post-secondary institutions;
  • inform best practices to government and university administrators in further developing micro-credentials.

CUFA BC is committed to a strong and well-governed, well-supported public university system. We look forward to working with government, university administrators, and other stakeholders to ensure a high quality post-secondary system that embraces an educated society. We advocate for the necessary supports to be in place in order for micro-credentials to succeed for faculty and students, university communities, as well as administrators, governments, and industry partners.