The future of democracy

Democracy has never been more celebrated and under threat at the same time. It has been heralded as the best way of making political decisions, but it is also vulnerable to many challenges, chief among which are citizen dissatisfaction, policy short-termism, polarization and misinformation. That is why it is crucial for current and future decisionmakers, and engaged citizens alike, to critically assess the main challenges to democracy, and to acquire the foresight tools necessary for improving democratic governance futures. This micro-credential meets both goals.

On the one hand, it offers its participants a thorough theoretical and empirical overview of the main challenges to democracy. On the other hand, it also crucially aims to foster students’ future-thinking skills to inform how governance could look like in near and long-term. Even though the micro-credential is taught at an advanced level, it is open to a wide variety of audiences, ranging from policy-makers at all levels of government (local, regional, national or European) to citizens concerned with the current state of democracy.

The courses are organised in an interactive way including working sessions in which we let you experience the various techniques in a hands-on-manner, complemented with lectures that can be followed online or in class. The courses are therefore suitable for anyone with a professional or personal interest in the state of democracy.


The micro-credential "Democracy: challenges & futures" consists of 2 courses

Challenges to Democracy (VUB, 6 ECTS, 1st semester)
Futures Studies (EhB, 3 ECTS, 1st semester)

Working sessions for this course will take place from 17h-19h30 on Wednesdays (25/09, 9/10, 23/10, 13/11, 27/11 and 11/12 in 2024)

Admission requirements

There are no admission requirements to start this micro-credential.

Maximum 5 participants

Enrolments will follow the 'first come, first serve' principle.

1 semester

Both courses take place during the first semester.


One ECTS-credit equates to roughly 25 to 30 hours of study, from lessons to completing a project or studying independently.

Campus Etterbeek + Brussels 

Courses are organised on the VUB Main Campus located in Etterbeek en Campus RITCS in the heart of Brussels.

Day or evening courses

You can take this micro-credential in day or evening courses. 

What is a Micro-credential?

Micro-credentials are small, academic programmes that focus on specific subjects and competences. They consist of one or more courses or course parts taught in a Bachelor or Master programme at the university. Usually, they are taught for a few hours spread over one semester or one academic year. They are literally micro-courses.

If you pass the micro-credential, you receive a certificate proving that you have acquired the competences. These are official credits. This is where micro-credentials differ from other programmes, such as study days or trainings. The credits and competences you obtain are recognised throughout your career and can lead to exemptions from future programmes, for example, even at other institutions.

Micro-credentials are important for lifelong learning. After all, in our rapidly changing society, it is essential that everyone keeps working to renew their own competences. Micro-credentials are blocks that you can stack and combine throughout your life and career to further direct your own pathway. There are several advantages to taking micro-credentials. Since they are short, specific courses, you only learn what you need to upskill or specialise.

In addition, the certificate guarantees your acquired competences and the credits are often recognised abroad. They are a great asset on your CV.


The tuition fee consist of a fixed amount and a variable amount

The fixed amount is an administrative fee paid once per academic year. The variable amount is a specific fee per credit or ECTS that you enrol for.

Find the tuition fees here


Start your online application here

Look under 'continuing education' to select your micro-credential.
Check the application deadlines here

Need help?

Consult the application FAQ

Teaching methods

The VUB is committed to blended learning, a combination of online and on-campus lessons. Therefore, students need not necessarily be on campus if they do not have to be, but we still believe in the added value of physical teaching moments. 

Classes are usually taught for a few hours spread over one semester or one academic year. You can always check the class timetable, where you can see if a course is online, on campus or taught through recorded lessons. It is best to view the timetables for each individual course. 

Any questions?

Logo Europese Unie financiering

This new training offer micro-credentials was developed and announced with the support of the European Union.