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Profile  [7]  Effectiveness of research activities 

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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Special reviews were provided by national experts to assess each country's research activities in VET/HRD (see Overview, aspect 7).  The following analysis draws attention to one of the key concerns addressed in these reviews: the effectiveness of research activities. For this purpose, the review texts have been analysed to identify issues related to the effectiveness of VET/HRD research. These may refer to either problems encountered or solutions pursued, or to both. Three major types of issues can be distinguished across the country reviews:
  • Infrastructure of research (incl. coordination within the research field; role of university research; continuity of research); 
  • Resources for research (incl. funding for research from national sources/ EU sources; evaluation of research funding/ output); 
  • Interrelation between research and policies (incl. linkage with national policies/ EU policies).
In the following analysis, the most prominent type of issue (from among these three types) has been selected for each country (see map below, legend on the right). It should be noted though that nearly half of the reviews address more than one type of issue, partly with only marginal difference in emphasis between them. The map therefore is intended to highlight country examples for the issues addressed rather than to identify exclusive cases of prominence, 
 
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
 
  Prominent issues related to  the effectiveness of research
I
(A) Mainly infrastructure of research
I
(B) Mainly resources for research
I
(C) Mainly interrelation between research and policies

Issues with regard to the interrelation between research and policies (C) appear to be most prominent in the majority of reviews across all regions (BE, BG, CY, DE, ES, FI, FR, HU, IE, LV, UK). Linkages both with national policies and with EU policies are commonly addressed, for instance, how to evaluate the effects of VET/HRD research on political decision making in education (FI); the role of evaluation research for programme reviews and national development plans (IE).
   Also frequent is the prominence found in relation to issues concerned with the infrastructure of research (A), again across all regions (AT, DK, EE, LT, MT, NO, SE, SI). A favourite theme in this group is the coordination of research within the VET/HRD field, for instance on the following lines: Cooperation of the players could bring more communication and more strength of research; the establishment of a yearly VET research conference, and more inclusion in European and international activities could be steps in that direction (AT). 
   Issues related to the resources for research (B) seem to be most prominent in a number of country reviews from Central-Eastern and Southern Europe (CZ, IT, PL, PT, RO, SK). Points raised in this context include the evaluation of research activities, for instance: In relation to increased research funding more emphasis is being placed on the evaluation of project quality as part of both ex ante and ex post evaluation (CZ);  the following criteria are applied for the evaluation of research: productivity and quality of the work, internationalisation, impact, use of external resources, management of the resources (IT).

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