VET and HRD research in European countries 

Profile of national research


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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). Furthermore, latest evidence from the homepages of all VET/HRD institutions referred to in these reports was included in the analysis.

Applying a secondary analysis has of course its limits, since the reports concerned are self-contained sources of information. In addition, they vary considerably in approach and quality, despite using a template with common instructions. An empirically based comparison across the 25 countries, therefore, has to be confined to such issues as are sufficiently underpinned by evidence to be drawn from all the reports. 

The general reference to 'research and development' in those reports is replaced in the Profile by the broad term 'research' (involving combinations with consulting, development or teaching). All activities considered in the Profile refer to the field of VET and/or HRD (VET/HRD) in general. The composition of this field is presented in a special overview: 

> Areas of VET/HRD research in European countries

The following aspects of VET/HRD research in European countries are included in the Profile:

[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
[4A] Thematic orientation of institutions involved in research
[4B] Research-related activities of institutions
[5] Funding frameworks and support structures for research
[6] Thematic orientation of associations and networks facilitating research
[7] Effectiveness of research activities
Under each aspect, a specific typology is used for analysing the research activities and, subsequently,  defining archetypes or levels which are suitable for transnational comparison. The outcome for each aspect is summarised in a map showing the European countries grouped according to geographical regions (see general pattern for all aspects below): 
Northern Europe
(DK, FI, NO, SE)
Western Europe
(AT, BE, DE, FR, IE, UK)
Central-Eastern Europe
(BG, CZ, EE, HU, LT, LV, PL, RO, SI, SK)
Southern Europe
(CY, ES, IT, MT, PT)

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. For the sake of brevity, the maps use country acronyms (see full names of countries in the Overview). 

Based on this comparative analysis, a summary of national characteristics for each country is presented as part of the Overview:

> Outline of VET/HRD research in each European country

  [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]

EHRD Portal

Related resources:


Thematic overview of VET in European countries: 

Series of reports on vocational education and training research in Europe:
Research Laboratory

WIFO Gateway

Issues arising from an institutional analysis of HRD and VET research across Europe

Current themes addressed in European VET and HRD research: Themes

Index of VETNET Conference papers (last 10 years):

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Author of this section of the VET&HRD Base: Sabine Manning  © WIFO
Last update: 23/10/2009