Vice Provost Orla Shiels of Trinity College Dublin – Micro Credentials with Macro Impact

Professor Orla Sheils is the Vice-Provost and Chief Academic Officer at Trinity College Dublin as well as holding the position of Professor of Molecular Diagnostics. Prior to her appointment as Vice-Provost in 2021, Orla served as the Director of Medical Ethics in the School of Medicine, was the founding Director of the Trinity Translational Medicine Institute, and was Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences from 2019-2021. Most recently, Orla was elected as a member of Scientific Council of the International Agency for Research on Cancer for 2024-27. IARC is a cancer research agency of the World Health Organisation that supports cancer prevention research.

Our conversation starts with exploring the rich fabric of Orla’s career, and her path to the Vice Provost role as well as the causes and movements that have motivated her over the course of her professional life.

We move then to discuss her initiatives in the Vice-Provost role, in particular the initiatives at Trinity College Dublin around micro-credentials and the origins of this flexible and progressive approach to learning, which improves access for a wider range of students and important, skill-based learning. As the workplace is reinvented, so too should education adapt to respond to needs to upskill and retrain later in life.  As universities evolve to blend online and in-person teaching, micro-credentials are a way to provide access not only to Trinity’s body of teaching but also so much around the world.  The four pillars of the current offering of micro-credentials of Environment Sustainability, Wellbeing, ICT, Datascience and Engineering and  People, Leadership and Culture,

Please enjoy this discussion on the future of third level education and insights into what a cross-disciplinary learning environment might look like. You can see a short video of Orla discussing Micro-Credentials on Fiftyfaces TV here:

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ― Mahatma Gandhi