The program was a busy one. VETNET is a large and active network within the ECER with this year a program with three parallel sessions. We had 102 paper presentations, 36 sessions, of which 6 were symposia, 1 joint session and 1 poster. For Porto we had 77 papers in the programme so Budapest represented a substantial increase. The Programme Convenors set out to encourage new researchers and presentations from countries underrepresented in ECER.
At Budapest, the majority of presenters were from Germany, Scandinavia, the UK, then Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Lithuania, Austraia, Romania, Hungary, the Netherlands, Iran, Australia and the USA. The VETNET network spreads far afield.
The rooms that we were allocated were satisfactory, the data projectors worked, and technical support was readily available. Attendance at sessions was generally satisfactory.
The Network themes of comparision of VET cultures and VET governance systems, qualifcation frameworks and teachers' and trainers' professional development, careers, transition and guidance, social issues in VET and social impact of VET, and digital media. The future of VET, the strengthening of VET in times of transition, identity development of learners in VET, VET in different settings for different categories of learners, and reporting on research in VET, were amongst the rich array of themes addressed.
The network has the goal of increasing both the quality of presentations along with parallel the goal to encourage a good quantity of presentations. At Budapest, we had 9 withdrawals - some were the last minute, and we hope to avoid this for the next conference.
Special trhanks go to Karen Evans for her work as co - convenor helping with the program, Magdolna Benke for organising our local keynote speaker, and the very successful VETNET dinner, and thanks to all the Board members, reviewers, chairs, discussants and last, but not least, the presenters who shared their research and ideas to take VET research and development further.
Papers presented addressed the conference theme of Education and Transition and this theme provided a framwork for the design of the programme. We opened the conference with two keynote addresses on issues facing teachers in VET and the workplace, presented by Andras Benedek (Hungary) and Philip Reilly (Australia), Programme innovations included a joint session with Network 22 Research in Higher Education with a set of papers on ‘Different International and Educational Perspectives in Student Collaboration’. which was a very positive achievement for the Network. We had a poster and had planned a workshop which unfortunately had to be withdrawn. We hope for workshops to be a part of future programs, to increase the number of posters and to have more joint sessions. Completing the programme with a Moot session was again used as an opportunity to reflect on the programme and to plan for the subsequent conferences.
Having introduced discussants for paper sessions I am going to provide guidleines on what this role entails so that those who are discussants are clear as to what is required.