VET and HRD research in European countries > Overview 

Czech Republic  [7]  Review of VET/HRD research

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Current VET/HRD research

Research into education and HRD in the 1990s, similarly to research in other social sciences, was largely influenced by the transformation processes in society. Recent years have seen increased effectiveness of this research, although in terms of international comparison the results are still below average (e.g. very low indicators of the relative quotation index etc.). 

The involvement of Czech HRD research teams in European research projects is insufficient (it is lower than in other disciplines). The CR’s participation in the 6th Framework Programme (Human Resources and Mobility) was as low as two thirds of the EU-25 average. The rate of success in terms of projects promoted in this area is also among the lowest.

There is a positive trend in that research has been shifting from general to thematic projects, and from one-year projects to those lasting several years. As regards research initiated by various ministries there is a marked shift from operational research tasks commissioned by ministries to support for reforming strategies, and from regular statutory funding of ministerial research institutions to project-based allocations. Other research activities are funded on the basis of bidding procedures. The development and updating of the National R&D Programme, which started in 2002, promotes a more policy-based research. 

In relation to increased research funding more emphasis is being placed on evaluation of project quality – as part of both ex ante and ex post evaluation. Ex post evaluation is focused not only on the eligibility of the funds used, but also, and to a larger extent, on the quality of the research results. Those who achieve better results over the long term will be given preference when resources are allocated in the years to come. 

In view of the fact that, since 2000, there has been a large shift in government policies from operational to strategic decision-making, research in the area of education and HRD is now more linked to the formulation of strategies and implementation of measures as part of ongoing reforms.

Future VET/HRD research

Research in the future should continue focusing on support for ongoing reforms in the area of education. This particularly concerns (i) introduction of the two-level development of curricula resting on competencies, (ii) the establishment of a system for the monitoring of quality and evaluation of outcomes of education, (iii) the development of a national qualifications system, and (iv) recognition of non-formal and informal learning. The effectiveness of this research could be enhanced and reforms speeded up thanks to new opportunities for pilot testing and for the implementation of research results via co-funding from the ESF. 

The other issues that need to be addressed by R&D in the future are: 

  • Tertiary education – examining the issue of equal access to tertiary education and barriers to such access, analysing the conditions for expanding the provision of tertiary education, inclusion of higher professional education into the system of tertiary education, the conditions for quality improvement and the system of funding. 
  • Continuing education and training – analysing the role of CVET in supporting employment and HR flexibility, the links between education and population ageing, research support for the development of a system for stimulating participation, quality evaluation and access to information about CVET; research into the preconditions for increased involvement of private investment (companies and individuals) in CVET funding. 
  • Research into the links between the nature of a knowledge society, innovation and the requirements related to initial and continuing education, a system for identification and development of talent within the education system, flexibility of the education system in terms of modern technological requirements
  • Early identification of qualification needs in relation to the future development in the labour market, the development of an information system using this data, the use of this data in career counselling and for the purpose of developing the education system
  • The development of career counselling and “balance” diagnostics for adults in support of a system for recognition of non-formal and informal learning.
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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Czech Republic (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO