On 2 February 2023, Universität Innsbruck awarded the first micro-credential certificate to Giusi Merola from Università Federico II di Napoli. The micro-credential, part of the Aurora joint programme on “Sustainability & Climate Change,” was awarded for Giusi’s completion of 10 ECTS credits.
Giusi is the first student, not just at Federico II but throughout the Aurora European University Alliance, to receive a micro-credential, making her the trailblazer for a new era in higher education within Aurora. A micro-credential is a record of the learning outcomes acquired after a short course of study. The courses are designed to provide students with specific knowledge, skills, and competencies that meet societal, personal, cultural, or labour market needs. Micro-credentials are portable and can be shared with potential employers or higher education institutions.
Giusi’s experience with the micro-credential was overwhelmingly positive. She shares, “During the lessons, we learned about climate change from various perspectives: anthropological, social, cultural, and scientific. We were given the tools to identify the realities that truly care about sustainability. As a final test, we wrote a report identifying companies close to receiving the B-Corp certification and developed a social start-up project which was presented at the European Forum of Alpbach in Austria to hundreds of students and investors. The experiences enriched me as a person, added valuable skills to my CV, and created numerous online and offline connections.”
The “Sustainability & Climate Change” micro-credential is a unique and innovative approach to learning that aligns with the European Council Recommendations. The micro-credential allows participating universities to share the latest research results with students in real time through research-led teaching and challenge-based learning. The certificate not only strengthens opportunities for inclusive international learning but also engages all partners in the Aurora Alliance to provide quality education. Moreover, the micro-credential certificate represents the effort for interoperability of the Aurora universities’ IT systems and connection to common European interfaces and platforms, such as Europass and European Digital Credentials for Learning. This is a further step to help overcome recognition problems that still exist in some places, often due to national study laws.
Universität Innsbruck’s issuance of the first micro-credential certificate demonstrates the potential for a new and innovative approach to learning across Aurora universities. The “Sustainability & Climate Change” micro-credential provides students with a unique opportunity to gain specialized knowledge and competencies while simultaneously addressing the challenges posed by climate change.