Individual Consultant (author)- Study on Potential of Micro-credentials in Asia-Pacific


Parent Sector : Field Office

Duty Station: Bangkok

Job Family: Education

Type of contract : Non Staff

Duration of contract : From 1 to 6 months

Recruitment open to : External candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 24-JUN-2024 (Extended)


UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism




The rapid digital transformation of higher education and TVET creates a need to continuously build the capacity of teaching personnel to teach in digital environments and leverage emerging technologies. With differences in digital readiness and allocation of resources, gaps exist for different countries and institutions to effectively manage quality resources and build teachers' digital capacity. During the COVID-19 pandemic, micro-credentials remerged as an efficient means to train staff by offering flexible ways of recognising learning outcomes through faculty continuing professional development (CPD). In 2022, UNESCO developed a working definition of micro-credentials and invited researchers and practitioners to explore potential applications and usefulness.



Together with UNESCO Bangkok, the International Centre for Higher Education Innovation (UNESCO-ICHEI) launched a research and capacity building project on micro-credentials in Asia-Pacific to advance higher education and TVET teaching personnel's professional development. The purpose of the assignment is to collect institutional case studies to inform guidelines by UNESCO and regional capacity building projects in Asia-Pacific and build on UNESCO’s work worldwide.



Supervisory Arrangement:


Under the overall authority of the Director of the UNESCO Regional Office in Bangkok, and the direct supervision of the Chief of Education Section and officers in charge of the project, the Individual Specialist will perform the following tasks:


1.    Prepare an institutional case study on Building effective mechanisms for continuing professional development of higher education/TVET teaching personnel: Mapping the potential of micro-credentials. Based on two consultations and a launch ceremony in 2023, the following countries are especially encouraged to apply: Bhutan, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Uzbekistan. Pacific Island countries have not yet taken part in regional consultations, and are also invited to conduct a case study. While the length and structure of institutional case studies will vary, the suggested length is 3,500-5,000 words. Here is a suggested outline:

i.    Introduction of your country/institution
ii.    Major impacts of COVID-19 on HE/TVET teaching and learning
iii.    Building digital skills for HE/TVET teaching personnel
iv.    Definition and potential role of micro-credentials
v.    Recognizing digital skills through micro-credentials 
vi.    Gaps and remaining questions


2.    Prepare a PowerPoint (PPT) presentation summarizing findings and recommendations to improve CPD of higher education or TVET teaching personnel and how micro-credentials may be best utilized going forward. Consider the following guiding questions for your presentation (10-12 slides):

i.    What digital skills are currently in high demand by HE/TVET teaching personnel?
ii.    How are micro-credentials defined in your institutional context or country?
iii.    How are relevant digital skills integrated into the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes for teaching personnel in your institution or country?
iv.    In your local context, what challenges and opportunities do you have to implement micro-credentials in CPD programmes?
v.    Considering the local context and the realistic needs of your institution or country, what potential strategies can enhance the recognition of micro-credentials within CPD systems? 

3.    Make sure that all the details of Style Manual (2004 version available at have been adhered such as terminology, abbreviations, acronyms and format of footnotes, etc.;


4.    In line with UNESCO’s overall gender mainstreaming strategy, ensure the Guidelines on Gender-Neutral Language is applied throughout the publication (;


5.    When referring to the region, ensure to avoid using ‘in the Asia-Pacific’ and ‘in Asia Pacific’. Instead, use one of the following terms interchangeably: in the Asia-Pacific region, in Asia and the Pacific, and in Asia-Pacific;

6.    Use the proper names and place names that correspond to UNESCO official usage and comply the official names of these following countries (where applicable): Taiwan = Taiwan province of China, Hong Kong = Hong Kong SAR, China, South Korea = Republic of Korea, Vietnam = Viet Nam, Iran = Iran (Islamic Republic of), Laos = Lao PDR. UNESCO member states to be double checked at;


7.    Compile a list of tables, figures (including diagram, chart, illustration), photos (including images, cartoons, icons) and other graphic elements from the third party-materials by using a template provided by UNESCO and secure the intellectual property rights by using the “permission consent form” (provided by UNESCO); 

8.    Ensure that no plagiarized or self-plagiarized material is published without appropriate acknowledgement of the source;

9.    Provide a proper credit or citation to the original work of the third-party materials. For any materials created by author, the “Source: author” should be placed underneath aforementioned materials;

10.    Avoid including maps (global, regional, country) that could be politically sensitive or that could affect the legal status of any country, territory, city, area, or its authorities, or the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. If the map must be used, seeking UNESCO clearance is required.

11.    Ensure greater coherence among Education publications, the structure should be following this order; cover, legal page, short summary, blank page, inside title page, foreword, acknowledgements, table of contents and list of figures and tables, executive summary and the content (refer to (1) How to Structure and (2) Foreword/Preface guideline);

12.    Ensure that the publication is in full compliance with the international copyrights policy to avoid any illegal consequences as outline in the ‘General Terms and Conditions’ which annexed in this contract;

13.    Submit a draft manuscript in MS Word file including those permission form (if any) to UNESCO;

14.    Improve and incorporate suggested changes (if required) and finalize the manuscript until it is considered as satisfactory;

15.    Strictly meet the committed deadline.



The estimated number of working days for this assignment is 20-25 days. The Individual Specialist shall complete and submit the following deliverables for UNESCO Bangkok’s review and approval:


•    Institutional case study and PPT on micro-credentials for CPD in HE/TVET by 15 September 2024.


In line with UNESCO's overall gender mainstreaming strategy, the individual specialist is expected to integrate a gender perspective in all activities and apply gender analysis and mainstreaming concepts whenever feasible. 


An estimated 10-12 experts will be selected per case study. Experts may work together within their country, but only one contract will be awarded per case study.


The work shall be completed by 15 September 2024 at the latest.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Accountability (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Teamwork (C)
Building partnerships (M)
Strategic thinking (M)
Results focus (C)


For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.





•    Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in education, social sciences, international studies, or a related field.


Work Experience:


•    Minimum five (5) years of relevant professional experience in Asia and the Pacific.
•    Experience in working with and knowledge of mechanisms for recognition of qualifications and quality assurance in higher education.



•    Demonstrated ability to provide intellectual and technical expertise on trends and policy development in higher education, including governance, quality assurance and recognition of qualifications.
•    Strong analytical skills with ability to synthesize data and evidence from various sources.
•    Excellent drafting skills and proven track record of producing high quality technical and evidence-based reports.
•    Excellent presentation skills and ability to communicate effectively. 
•    Excellent level of IT skills (MS Office) and communication management.



•    Excellent knowledge of English (written and spoken)



•    Ph.D. in the field of education, international education, global education policy, development studies, or any other relevant field in the social sciences or humanities



Interested individuals are invited to submit to UNESCO Bangkok office the specific requirements through


Interested candidates should click on “Apply Now” and upload the following documents as a single PDF document in place of the Employment History Form. 


Before uploading the document, at the end of the Employment History Form, please insert extra pages with the following required documents:


•    An up-to-date CV stating details of educational qualifications, work experience, including prior experience of similar work

•    A statement indicating how your qualification and experience make you suitable for the assignment and which country you would like to research for the case study.

•    Sample of previous writing and research.

Your submission and any supporting documents must be in English.



Due to the large number of applications we receive, we are able to inform only the successful candidate(s) about the outcome or status of the selection process.


Please submit your application through SuccessFactors. Only if you are unable to attach requirements in system, please inform us at


UNESCO places great emphasis on ensuring that the objectives of the work assignment, as described in the Terms of Reference, are met. Accordingly, in evaluating the proposals for the assignment, attention will focus first and foremost on the technical elements. From those proposals deemed suitable in terms of the criteria in the Terms of Reference, UNESCO shall select the proposal that offers the Organisation the best value for money.




•    Only applications providing the information requested in the application procedure will be considered.
•    Evaluation of qualified applicants may include an assessment exercise and a competency-based interview.



Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.


The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. 


UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.


Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.



UNESCO recalls that paramount consideration in the appointment of staff members shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity. UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieving and sustaining equitable and diverse geographical distribution, as well as gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Candidates from non- and under-represented Member States (last update here) are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals from minority groups and indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.