Annual Report 2007, Ghent
The VETNET programme at ECER 2007 was attended by ca. 130 participants. This year the VETNET network reached the 10 years' milestone as an active network of the EERA. The electronic proceedings for the VETNET programme at ECER 2007 are in preparation. At the same time VETNET has a campaign to produce proceedings of the earlier years' papers.
The VETNET programme consisted of 28 sessions including 80 individual papers, 7 symposia, 2 research workshops, 1 cross-network round table (with the network on teacher education research), two VETNET plenary sessions and of the VETNET General Assembly.
- The VETNET Opening Colloquium was based on the keynote speech by Prof. Ides Nicaise (from the University of Leuven, Belgium) on the theme "Participation in lifelong learning in the EU-15?" Also, European policy monitoring was discussed in the sessions that explored conceptual problems with the European Qualification Framework (EQF).
- The VETNET Forum session focused on the achievements of the network but raised also critical issues to be faced. The VETNET chronicle by Pekka Kämäräinen paved the way for the panel discussion of key actors in VETNET. The speakers discussed the role of VETNET as a section of EERA, as an arena of European networking and as promoter of wide European and international exchanges.
- The VETNET General Assembly took note of the recent upgrade of the VETNET website (www.vet-research.net). Also, new initiatives were taken to support PhD students across Europe. Also, the VETNET network is looking for an active role in the joint EERA initiative to develop "European Educational Research Quality Indicators (EERQI)".
Further working issues
- Introduction of the electronic support for the review process while handling reviews (under discussion with ECER secretariat),
- Participation of VETNET in the EERQI initiative,
- Systematisation of the work with the VETNET proceedings before ECER 2008
- Introduction of an electronic VETNET newsletter (to be discussed),
- Reduction of the number of proposals pro participants in order to streamline the programme avoid the tightly packed sessions.
Developments in the joint VETNET activities
- Continuous and slightly increasing attendance of ca. around 130 VET participants for the conferences at Geneve and Ghent. Therefore, there is a case to look for contributions from countries like Hongkong, Australia, Canada, Russia and South Africa. It can be analysed that environmental, system related, learning process and VET professionals related issues and questions dominate the contributions and discussions made for this network.
- Double blind review process by two independent experts in the field has improved the quality of the programme and helped to organise the selection process. Over 25 reviewers throughout Europe participated in the review process.
- "Local" programme chairs have supported the organisation of the VETNET programme: Barbara Stalder for Geneva and Jeroen Onstenk for the Ghent conference.
- Establishment of two regular joint plenary sessions has been set up as desing elements within the VETNET programme: Opening colloquium and the VETNET Forum which discusses research and policy related questions or topics of VET
- The VETNET Homepage www.vet-research.net has been recently updated with the actual programme, author abstracts, list of authors and other features like different thematic blogging systems. About 50 papers have been uploaded on the VETNET page.
- For the 2007 Ghent conference proceedings will be produced. The proceedings will be published both on the VETNET page as well as on the WiFo site, Berlin (www.wifo-gate.org). On the pages this will allow search on themes, authors, session types.
Milestones and issues for the future development of VETNET
- The VETNET board will have an interim meeting in December at the University of Bremen. Here some new initiatives for improving the network actions will be discussed. For ECER ?08 in Gothenburg there is a request for more open arrangements and a better balance between traditional paper sessions and more participative sessions (e.g. round tables or workshops related to (electronic) posters).
- There is an emerging initiative to organise support for PhD students (in conjunction with the Post-Graduate Network).The contact persons are Martin Mulder, University of Wageningen, the Netherlands and Johanna Lasonen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.