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SACAP Global rolls out international expansion plans, ventures into new market digitally—amidst a global pandemic

Leading South African Institution Enters New Market with Essential Skills Micro-credentials
Leading South African Institution Enters New Market with Essential Skills Micro-credentials


Micro-credentials launched and approved as OpenCreds


Foray into international markets: Malaysia and Southeast Asia


Months on average to develop a micro-credential course


Online short courses launched between 2021-2022, more to come
South African leader in Applied Psychology studies partners with OpenLearning to launch a range of human-centred micro-credentials in essential skills as a pathway for international expansion to Malaysia and Southeast Asia.

The South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP) offers various accredited undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in Psychology, Counselling, Coaching, Human Resource Management, Business Management and Social Work.

In 2021, SACAP Global was established to make lifelong learning accessible to international learners and deliver online programs in essential or soft skills to meet rapidly changing workplace needs. SACAP wanted to draw upon their niche expertise to enable working professionals and those entering the job market to stay competitive and advance in their careers or shift to new fields of interest.

Testing the waters: A foray into micro-credentials for Malaysians

The SACAP Global team identified Malaysia as the best place to start their international expansion plans based on a few factors, including internet connectivity, fluency in the English language, openness to doing business, market population size, and a level of diversity similar to South Africa. However, expanding into a new country and region with very little brand recognition posed the biggest challenge.

SACAP Global’s foray into Southeast Asia focused on short accredited courses as a starting point—to first learn more about the environment and local market needs.

Learner-first approach to delivering high-quality, localised offerings

The first phase of SACAP Global’s international expansion plans includes developing and launching micro-credential courses. These are short, verified courses that are digitally certified, are outcomes-based, and testify to the attainment of skills through assessment. This makes them different to conventional short courses, which are often 10 or fewer hours of learning, and not assessed.

SACAP Global’s micro-credential courses range from 20–80 hours of learning and have been designed to be both standalone courses and components of an accredited academic qualification. They are recognised by SACAP as equivalent to specific degree modules.

The OpenLearning platform enables a social approach to online learning that complements the college’s human-centred short courses, and their approach to lifelong learning.

With OpenLearning’s OpenCreds Micro-credential Framework and SACAP’s internal quality assurance process, the SACAP team designed and developed 6 micro-credential courses that are aligned with the Malaysian Qualifications Agency’s guidelines. The courses are:

  • Applied Psychology: Effective Interpersonal Communication
  • Applied Psychology: Introduction into Human Behaviour
  • Applied Psychology: Factors Influencing Human Behaviour
  • Business Management: Intro into Management and Leadership
  • People Management: Managing and Motivating People
  • People Management: Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent

SACAP Global's Micro-credential Portal on OpenLearning

Learners can stack their qualifications and receive accreditation towards a Bachelor of Applied Social Science, where 2 micro-credentials are equivalent to 1 module in the degree program. 

Malaysian learners wanting to pick up essential soft skills can now look forward to sound learning and academic standards—as SACAP Global’s micro-credential courses, their qualification pathways, and the college’s suite of study programs are relevant and competitive at a global level.

Onwards and upwards: Learning from experience, strengthening their position

With support from the OpenLearning team to ensure alignment to local qualifications and requirements, SACAP Global was able to roll out its international expansion plans with relatively low risks and associated costs within a short period of time. They managed to venture into a new market, position and test their offerings, whilst building brand awareness —digitally, amidst a global pandemic.

The institution will continue to develop more courses, with 2 OpenCreds in Counselling to be launched in 2022.

SACAP Global

The South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP) is a leading provider of accredited qualifications, grounded in Applied Psychology. SACAP Global is a division of SACAP that focuses on delivering professional training to learners worldwide. SACAP Global’s specialised short courses are designed and developed by experts in the field of psychology to ensure up-to-date course content.


South Africa


Higher Education, Professional Development

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“At SACAP Global we want to empower the future workforce because a continuously evolving world demands continuously evolving citizens. We have partnered with OpenLearning as their social approach to online learning complements our human-centred courses, and our approach to lifelong learning.”
Karolyne Williams
Head of Strategic Innovation, SACAP Global

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