2024 Jun/07

SETU hosts first European meeting on joint master and micro-credential programmes

The EU-CONEXUS team at South East Technological University (SETU) recently hosted colleagues from the European University Alliance for their first in-person meeting. The main topics for discussion during the visit were the Joint Master Programme and the development of new Joint Micro-credentials for upskilling at a Masters level.

This was a significant milestone in the collaborative efforts of the alliance, bringing together representatives from various European institutions for a two-day series of workshops and discussions. It also served as an extension to a series of online meetings and workshops completed to date.

Key Objectives and Initiatives

The primary focus of the meeting was to develop eight micro-credentials – a project led by Dr Niamh O’Brien and Dr Mike Kinsella. SETU is at the forefront of this initiative, tasked with creating a Joint Masters and a total of twenty micro-credentials related to Smart Urban Coastal Sustainability.

Background and Preparations

These meetings are the result of over nine months of preparatory work by the EU-CONEXUS group, as well as online meetings and workshops. The collaborative vision of EU-CONEXUS emphasises promoting common European values and strengthening European identity. The main intention is to foster a new generation of Europeans who can work across different cultures, languages, borders, sectors, and academic disciplines.

Development of the Micro-credentials and Joint Master Programme

The exploratory work for the Joint Master Programme began in 2023. A pan-European skills survey, designed and distributed by each EU-CONEXUS partner university, played a crucial role in identifying the skill needs across Europe. It placed a strong emphasis on sustainability competencies, transversal skills, and discipline-specific skills across 12 industry sectors. Insights from this survey serve as a foundation in the co-creation of the Joint Masters and Micro-credentials.

Highlights from the Workshop

“We are thrilled to welcome colleagues to SETU for two days of workshops to collaborate on micro-credentials. Particular emphasis is placed on promoting Education for Sustainable Development, embedding the European Green Competency Framework, and utilising the ABC Learning Design Model supported by Keith Byrne, Instructional Designer and Michelle Maher Sustainability Lecturer at SETU. This workshop is a huge team effort by all at the SETU EU-CONEXUS Office,” commented Dr Niamh O’Brien.

Dr Mike Kinsella echoed these sentiments, highlighting the collaborative spirit of the event. “Co-creation is at the heart of EU-CONEXUS, and this theme was consistently highlighted. The group worked well together, and we look forward to extended collaboration for the further development of new high quality, joint educational offerings,” he noted.

Future Prospects

The successful completion of these initial workshops sets a promising foundation for the continued development of the Joint Master Programme and its associated micro-credentials. Commitment to fostering sustainable education through co-creation will remain a central goal for the EU-CONEXUS alliance as this initiative progresses.

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