Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Deciding the Future of Higher Education in Australia

View from ACS HQ
Greetings from the Australian Computer Society head office, halfway up a very tall building in Sydney, overlooking the harbour. I am here for a meeting of the ACS Professional Standards Board (PSB). But beforehand I am sitting in on the ACS Accreditation Committee. This committee decides on which university degrees are suitable for those applying for ACS membership. There is a complex and detailed process, with a team visiting each university, talking to staff, and checking assessment. There are also larger issues to consider, as to what skills are needed for a computer professional working in a multidisciplinary team. 

Questions for the future, I suggest, include: "What about micro-credentials? Can you chop a degree into small pieces, but still have it make sense?". As I was writing that I came across a post from May Sok Mui Lim at Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), on a Competency-Based Stackable Micro-credential pathway (CSM). In the SIT scheme a micro-credential is about 4 months work, and is a standalone qualification. Students can complete several micro-credentials, plus a capstone project to be awarded a degree. As it happens I visited SIT recently, and was impressed with what they are doing, which gives me more confidence this approach will work. It will be interesting to see how much consideration it gets in the O’Kane Review of Australian Higher Education

Also this morning I sat in on the ACS Professional Ethics Committee, which is revising the code of ethics of the society. Here the questions can get very philosophical, buit have to translate into guidance a working professional can use to deal with dilemmas. 

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