oa Journal of Vocational, Adult and Continuing Education and Training - Researching vocational education and training : an international perspective

Volume 1 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2663-3647



This article investigates a German initiative to fund a research programme on international development cooperation in vocational education and training (VET). It briefly describes the strands of the programme and critically reflects on them. It is considered important that this programme be initiated to stimulate research on international VET development cooperation because, while there are institutes for and programmes on VET research, research on VET is modest in volume compared with that of educational research on elementary or secondary education. The article also considers priority areas for VET research that are part of the programme and expands on these, using a number of VET research themes and topics. An important conclusion is that in research on international VET development cooperation it is important to pursue a balanced approach by taking the practical, political, administrative and scientific factors into account. These factors all play a role at the national, regional and local levels. Too much pragmatism or too isolated a scientific specialisation should be avoided. Respectful cooperation between all the stakeholders is imperative, and is especially important in projects that combine researchers with a predominantly long-term perspective and teachers and managers with a mainly short-term outlook. Finally, I express the hope that more national governments would follow the example of Germany. Their doing so would definitely raise the profile of international VET research, which is absolutely needed.

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