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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 4 - Profiles of HRD and VET research

HRD research is related to a broader thematic profile than VET research. This is evident from comparing the range of themes, identified by thematic descriptors of VET/HRD related research (see Monitor > Descriptors), within institutions [Figure 4a]. In cases where both HRD and VET are covered, the overall thematic profile is particularly broad. On the other hand, research in the overlapping area between HRD and VET (e.g. 'work and learning' - see thesis 3) tends to have a more narrow profile. 'Narrow' in this case means that individual aspects of VET/HRD (e.g. 'competence development') are addressed, but these may be embedded in a neighbouring research field (e.g. labour market surveys). 

Furthermore, the identification of HRD and VET related research by thematic descriptors, also across languages, reveals conceptual differences: While VET is identified as a fairly common concept (despite the variety of training patterns), HRD has got various orientations. In general, HRD related research across European countries is focused more often on the labour market than on the organisation, only partly it covers both [Figure 4b].

What can we associate with 'HRD' in European research? Is there a field of HRD or rather a variety of HRD features linking up with VET in broad thematic profiles? Where do we find European research on HRD in the labour market? There is little evidence of this research at the present European conferences on HRD or VET! 

Figure 4a
Thematic profile of research in relation to HRD/VET focus at institutions 
(percentage of each group)

Figure 4b
HRD related research within institutions - focus on labour market or organisation (total 41)

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