02 SES 01 A, Internationalization of VET
Vocational education and training (VET) is a key factor for the development of educational, social and economic policy and practice (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2014). Nationally and internationally, there is a great demand for not only expertise in vocational training but also the sustainable and effective development of VET structures (McGrath et al., 2019). To date, systematic knowledge about models and approaches for VET, which differ widely between nations and cultures, remains limited and highly diverse, as can be observed in the fragmentation of research frameworks from different disciplines, and more systematic research in the field is required. In this context, the proposed paper provides a systematic review of the current state of literature on international VET research in German-speaking areas. A significant part of this current research study is conducted in the context of the nationwide scheme on “Research for the Internationalization of Vocational Education and Training”, which aims to strengthen national and international VET by implementing a systematically connected (inter)national research network for the field. To systematize the current state of research, we differentiate major areas therein: (a) international cooperation and development in VET, which focuses on capacity building in initial and continuing VET as a subfield of development cooperation; (b) international transfer in VET, which focuses on questions surrounding the transfer of VET systems or elements to other countries (Deissinger, 2015); (c) European cooperation and governance in VET, which focuses primarily on European cooperation and, more recently, on questions regarding multilevel governance in the European Union (Bohlinger, 2015); (d) VET in the context of service research, which focuses on how the VET system needs to adapt to better serve the requirements of the labor market, including the service sector; (e) VET in the context of corporate research, which focuses on shifts in production, services and human resources across countries and regions to enter new markets and on developing new approaches to vocational training in companies (Pilz & Li, 2014); and (f) network research in education, which focuses on social networks and regional cooperation in vocational training. The paper’s methods comprise a systematic literature review and comprehensive content analysis of literature in those areas (Gessler & Siemer, 2020). Drawing from the findings, the paper focuses on the three selected areas—b, c, and e, discusses major ongoing research activities in German-speaking VET, and identifies promising directions and implications for future research also at the international level.
Bohlinger, S. (2015). Governing vocational education and training in Europe. In S. Bohlinger, U. Haake, C. Jorgensen, H. Toiviainen, A. Wallo (Eds.), Working and learning in times of uncertainty: Challenges to adult, professional and vocational education (pp. 209–222). Rotterdam: Sense. Deissinger, T. (2015). The German dual vocational education and training system as ‘Good Practice’? Local Economy, 30(5), 557–567. Gessler, M., & Siemer, C. (2020). Umbrella review: Methodological review of reviews published in peer-reviewed journals with a substantial focus on vocational education and training research. International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training, 7(1), 91–125. McGrath, S., Mulder, M., Papier, J., & Stuart, R. (Eds.). (2019). Handbook of vocational education and training: Developments in the changing world of work. New York, NY: Springer. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2014). Skills beyond school: Synthesis report. Paris: OECD Publishing. Pilz, M., & Li, J. (2014). Tracing Teutonic footprints in VET around the world? The skills development strategies of German companies in the USA, China and India. European Journal of Training and Development, 38(8), 745–763.
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