Irish Universities Association welcomes €3.4m in funding awarded to MicroCreds courses across Irish universities

12th March 2024 – Irish Universities Association (IUA) has welcomed the announcement by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris T.D, today that €3.4m in funding will be awarded to the MicroCreds Project as part of the HCI Pillar 3 Micro-Credential Course Learner Subsidy.

The funding has been allocated to over 300 micro-credential courses offered by MicroCreds partner universities (Dublin City University, Maynooth University, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College Dublin, University of Galway and University of Limerick) and will equate to over 6,000 learner places being subsidised over the lifetime of the funding.

Micro-credentials are short, flexible quality-assured and enterprise-led courses. Courses offered across IUA universities cover a range of key skills in areas including sustainability, digital transformation, data programming, digital disruption, and Fintech to name just a few.

The funding will make upskilling and reskilling opportunities in critical skills areas more accessible and will allow more learners from across Ireland to engage with lifelong learning through micro-credentials.

The 50% – 80% learner fee subsidy is designed to raise awareness of the benefits of micro-credential learning and encourage participation in the courses, while offering courses at a reduced fee rate. The goal is to directly increase Ireland’s lifelong learning participation rates.

Commenting on the funding, the IUA MicroCreds Project Lead Jools O’Connor said: “MicroCreds courses offer a fantastic opportunity to upskill and engage in lifelong learning. Micro-credentials make education easier and more accessible for people with busy lifestyles and helps them commit to learning in a flexible way that suits their personal and work commitments. It is fantastic to receive this funding towards 300 courses and we look forward to welcoming more learners. We encourage anyone looking to address a skills gap to visit to explore the wide range of micro-credentials from our seven partner universities.”

Dr Vivienne Patterson, Head of Skills and Engagement, Higher Education Authority added: “These micro-credential courses offer incentivised lifelong learning opportunities for learners, and for employers to upskill their staff in a flexible bite-sized format.”

Commenting on the role of universities in providing life-long learning, Director General of IUA, Jim Mileysaid: “MicroCreds courses are quality assured by leading Irish Universities. The national participation in lifelong learning is at 11.8% as of Q4 2022. 80% of these lifelong learners are in employment. At IUA, we welcome the news of the funding towards these courses. Providing more flexible short learning opportunities like micro-credentials will increase the number of people participating in lifelong learning.”


For more information: 

David Corscadden, MicroCreds Communications Manager, Irish Universities Association E: M: +353 86 243 7281

Lia O’Sullivan, Head of Communications, Irish Universities Association. E: M: +353 85 714 1414