network activities of VET and HRD
Involvement of CEEC researchers
Contribution to the Round table on European and national research networks at ECER, September 2005
See also > ECER 2005 Proceedings
Sabine Manning, Research Forum WIFO Berlin
Our concern at this round table, and in general, is to stimulate collaboration between European researchers and, in particular, the involvement of researchers from Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) in European network activities of VET and HRD. This brief contribution will address the following questions:
evidence from accompanying analysis in this field is set out in the figures
and comments below.
Networking among European researchers in vocational education has developed over the past ten years in various contexts. EU projects in transnational partnerships have been a major driving force in this process. Collaboration among European researchers in vocational education has been supported in various ways by VETNET (Vocational Education and Training Network) with its annual programme presented at ECER (European Conference of Educational Research), by CEDRA (CEDEFOP Research Arena), which promotes opportunities for sharing and developing knowledge, and by ERO-Call, which is a CEDEFOP supported mailing list of European researchers. Two further, but unrelated, network activities led by CEDEFOP are the Research Reports ('RRs'), produced by large teams of European authors every two or three years, and the ReferNet (European network of reference and expertise), comprising documentalists and researchers from all EU countries. Finally, there are two activities in the field of human resource development: a European network of researchers - the EHRD Network, mainly built on EU project partnerships, and the annual European HRD conference, led by the University Forum of HRD in the UK.
what extent are researchers from Central and Eastern European countries
(CEEC) involved in these network activities? The following three figures
can offer some insight.
This figure shows the involvement of researchers from CEEC in the various activities introduced before (figure 1). Their proportion of all European participants (blue columns) is below 10% across all activities with one exception: the percentage within ReferNet (national coordinators only) is just over 40, because this network is based on proportional representation - this an interesting indicator of the dimension of CEEC membership. The absolute number of CEEC participants in the network activities (white columns) is more varied. This partly depends on the size of the individual network community, but also on the type of activity. Several types may be distinguished:
Individual participants from CEEC in major activities (breakdown by country 1995 to 2005)
from 13 CEEC (including candidates for EU membership) have been involved
in European activities. The top group is made up of Romania, Poland, Hungary,
Estonia and the Czech Republic. These countries also include a few researchers
who have been involved in two or more activities in parallel (dark part
of the bar). In most of these cases, the researchers are both EU project
members and ECER participants. One researcher from Estonia is also a member
of the VETNET Board. It should be added that participation in conferences
or projects may in fact be a frequent activity: a CEEC researcher may have
attended several annual ECER events or participated in several EU projects.
three major activities in which CEEC researchers are involved are EU projects,
ECER and the HRD conference. Most countries are represented in two or three
of these. The comparison of national participation in ECER and the HRD
conference is interesting: Among the top group, Rumania, Estonia and Hungary
are represented at both conferences, even with parallel attendance by individual
researchers (1 RO, 1 EE); Polish researchers are mostly at the HRD conference,
while Czech and Lithuanian researchers can only be found at ECER. The numbers
of national researchers are of course small, but the different distribution
of conference attendance might reflect the relationship between VET and
HRD research, or the focus of interest, in the countries concerned.
Altogether, CEEC researchers have been involved in European network activities to a remarkable degree, even if in modest overall quantity. The open questions is how to stimulate further involvement, especially of the least represented countries. (e.g. Bulgaria, Latvia and Slovakia). Several initiatives would be desirable:
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Set up: 12/11/2005
Last update: 12/11/2005
Contact: Sabine Manning