No 2009/03
  Profile of national VET and HRD research in Europe: Latest analysis
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  Dear Colleague

Research activities in vocational education and training (VET) and human resource development (HRD) are commonly described just in terms of R&D (research and development). As a recent analysis of  institutions in Europe shows, however, there are also other important activities linked with research in VET or HRD. These include, above all, teaching (in institutions at advanced educational level) and also several activities directed towards policy and practice, in particular consulting, administration and information. In these relationships, the activity concerned may dominate or complement research or be of equal standing. In a lot of cases, several of these activities are combined within individual institutions. The evidence as a whole suggests a highly interactive character of European VET/HRD research, matching its interdisciplinary profile already established in earlier studies.

Research-related activities of institutions:

This analysis, carried out by the Research Forum WIFO, draws on an initial collection of 333 institutions across 25 European countries, included in the national reports prepared by members of the Cedefop ReferNet in 2006. The major evidence for analysing the research activities in the present study was drawn directly from the homepages of these institutions.

The outcomes of this analysis are published as part of the Profile of national VET and HRD research in Europe, already available online, which is structured according to seven aspects of VET/HRD research in Europe:

   1. Links between national research activities and national policies
   2. Links between EU-sponsored research activities and national policies
   3. Issues addressed in research projects
   4. A. Thematic orientation of institutions involved in research
       B. Research-related activities of institutions (new)
   5. Funding frameworks and support structures for research
   6. Thematic orientation of associations and networks facilitating research
   7. Effectiveness of research activities

Profile (web page): http://www.b.shuttle.de/wifo/vet&hrd/=profile.htm
Profile (pdf file for downloading): http://www.b.shuttle.de/wifo/vet&hrd/Profile.pdf

This Profile is an attempt to present a European landscape of national research in VET and HRD. Under each aspect, a specific typology is used for analysing the data on research activities and, subsequently, defining archetypes or levels suitable for transnational comparison. The outcome for each aspect is summarised in a map showing the European countries grouped according to geographical regions. This geographical pattern implies certain stages of EU enlargement and also specific socio-cultural traditions, both of which are relevant for VET/HRD research activities in the countries concerned.

All activities considered in this Profile refer to the field of VET and/or HRD in general. The composition of this field is presented in a special map, showing the focal areas of VET/HRD research in each country:

Areas of VET/HRD research in European countries

As always, your comments would be welcome!
With kind regards
Sabine Manning

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 Editor: Sabine Manning © WIFO