VET&HRD
 
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Profile  [4A]  Thematic orientation of institutions involved in research

Country outlines  [AT] [BE] [BG] [CY] [CZ] [DE] [DK] [EE] [ES] [FI] [FR] [HU] [IE] [IT] [LT] [LV] [MT] [NO] [PL] [PT] [RO] [SE] [SI] [SK] [UK]

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Institutions are essential for shaping the profile of VET and HRD research in individual countries. The following analysis draws on an initial collection of 'main research centres, including bodies, departments and units within universities' (see Overview, aspect 4), with the exception of institutions undertaking only minor research (e.g. ministries). The resulting sample (274 institutions of 25 countries) was analysed, on the basis of the institutions' home pages, with regard to one aspect: the thematic field of the institution concerned. This analysis is a follow-up of an earlier study covering European countries as a whole (see Issues arising from an institutional analysis of HRD/VET research). 

The research fields of institutions, identified for the profile analysis, are broken down into three types:

  • Focus on VET/HRD (single or combined);
  • Close context of VET/HRD (e.g. education, labour market, human resources, work life); 
  • Broad context of VET/HRD (e.g. economics, sociology, statistics).
The proportions between institutions belonging to these types, established for every country, form the basis for defining three thematic patterns of institutional research, as presented in the map below (see definition of patterns in the legend on the right).
 
DK
FI
NO
SE
     
             
AT
BE
 
BG
CZ
EE
DE
FR
 
HU
LT
LV
IE
UK
 
PL
RO
SI
SK
             
CY
ES
IT
MT
PT
 
  Thematic patterns of institutional research
I
(A) Mainly focus on VET/HRD
I
(B) Mainly close context of VET/HRD
I
(C) Mainly broad context of VET/HRD
 

Three patterns are used in this map to describe the research profile of institutions in individual countries. In pattern A, the majority of institutions of a given country is focused on VET/HRD; in pattern B, either the majority of institutions undertake research in the close context of VET/HRD or there is a balance between all types of institutions; in pattern C, the majority of institutions carry out research in the broad context of VET/HRD. 
   In view of the interdisciplinary nature of both VET and HRD research, it may be argued, that pattern B stands for a fairly appropriate institutional environment. In contrast, pattern A may indicate a more narrow research profile, while pattern C may be understood as a more dispersed research landscape. In each case, however, the institutional pattern of research is strongly influenced by various factors including the national system of education, the socio-economic framework and research traditions. 
   As the map shows, nearly all countries undertake institutional research mainly in the context of VET/HRD; the countries associated with the close context of VET/HRD (AT, BG, CZ, DE, ES, FI, FR, HU, IE, IT, LT, MT, PT, SE, SI) and those related to the broad context of VET/HRD (BE, CY, DK, EE, LV, NO, PL, RO, SK) are fairly evenly distributed across all regions; only in one country (UK) institutional research is mainly focused on VET/HRD. 

NOTE: The Profile of national research is based on a comparative analysis of selected activities in 25 European countries (see Overview). This data has been compiled from the national reports prepared by the Cedefop ReferNet in 2006 and subsequently published by Cedefop (see Introduction and Reference). 

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Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO