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Research on VET and HRD in Europe
Mapping HRD and VET research across Europe
Issues arising from an institutional analysis
Sabine Manning - June 2006

Theses for discussion [Start > Introduction] [Thesis 1] [Thesis 2] [Thesis 3] [Thesis 4] [Thesis 5]

Thesis 3 - Distinction between HRD and VET

The constellation of HRD and VET as two fields of research, which for instance seems to match the two European conferences (HRD conference and ECER/VETNET), does hardly apply to the institutional landscape in Europe. There are only a few institutions where both the name and the profile of activities clearly points to HRD or VET, but a large number where neither the name nor the profile relates to HRD or VET [Figure 3a].

If the profile of activities across all institutions (irrespective of their names) is considered, the following picture appears: The largest proportion of institutions include overlapping aspects of VET and HRD (such as learning and work, continuing education or skills development); less frequent are those institutions that conduct VET specific and/or HRD specific activities; and finally there is a small group including both HRD and VET as specific activities [Figure 3b]. 

How can we assess the large area of overlapping research (such as learning and work): Is it subsumed under either HRD or VET, or is it rooted in either HRD or VET? What is the role of the two parallel European conferences (HRD Conference and ECER/ VETNET), both of which have a lot of this research in common? Is perhaps the international conference 'Researching Work and Learning' a step toward developing a field in its own right?

Figure 3a
HRD/VET identity according to name of institutions and to activity at institutions (total: 176)

Figure 3b
HRD/VET activity at institutions (percentage of total =176)

Set up: 19/06/2006
Update: 30/06/2006
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO