VET and HRD research in European countries > Overview

Germany  [6]  Professional research associations related to VET/HRD

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There is an official national VET research network, the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Berufsbildungsforschungsnetz (AG BFN), founded in 1991 on the initiative of the Ministry of Education and Research. The AGBFN includes the main federal research institutes and institutes on Laender level, as well as private and university institutes working in the field of VET. 

Below national level the central programmes of the BMBF and the BLK provide a further framework for the thematic co-operation of groups of researchers.

There are two research societies providing platforms for VET related research networks. Within the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie (DGfS) you find sections for the sociology of education, of work etc.. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Erziehungswissenschaften (DGfE) is the national society for all research into education; it also has a section on VET (Sektion für Berufs- und Wirtschaftspädagogik), which is represented in the German ReferNet.

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) is the central, self-governing research funding organisation that promotes research at universities and other publicly financed research institutions in Germany. The DFG serves all branches of science and the humanities by funding research projects and facilitating cooperation among researchers. In all its programmes, the DFG actively promotes collaboration between researchers in Germany and colleagues abroad. Special importance is given to strengthening European cooperation.

The Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V. (Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, MPG) is an independent, non-profit research organisation that primarily promotes and supports research at its own institutes. Cooperating with the local universities is of particular importance for Max Planck Institutes. The Max Planck Society operates, or is involved in, international activities so that its institutes can efficiently reach their research goals. The Max Planck Institute for Human Development is one of about 80 research centres financed by the MPG. It is a multidisciplinary research institute dedicated to the study of human development and education, and their evolutionary, social, historical, and institutional contexts.

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft undertakes applied research of direct utility to private and public enterprise and of wide benefit to society. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is the leading organisation for applied research in Europe. Its research activities are conducted by 58 Fraunhofer Institutes at over 40 different locations throughout Germany. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is also active on an international level: Affiliated research centres and representative offices in Europe, the USA and Asia provide contact with the regions of greatest importance for future scientific progress and economic development. The activities of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO) focus on investigation of current topics in the field of technology management. A holistic approach is applied to the study of commercial success, employees' interests and social consequences. In keeping with the holistic approach pursued, attention is also given to the individual and social values held by people in their working environment. This not only addresses the task of creating ergonomic solutions, but also the additional qualifications required by employees in coping with the decentralised organisation of work and the implementation of new technologies.

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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Germany (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO