Conference Agenda

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PRELIMINARY Session Overview
Paper Session 3C: International VET cooperation
Thursday, 03/Feb/2022:
10:30am - 12:00pm

Session Chair: Lorenzo BONOLI, Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training SFUVET
Location: Room 3

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Commercialization in international VET - products, pitfalls and potentials

Fabienne-Agnes BAUMANN

Universität Osnabrück, Germany

In the context of international activities in the area of vocational education and training, a commercialization can be detected as providers of vocational training services establish their products in overseas markets. In cases such as Germany, providers are also attributed more weight in state-driven international VET cooperation.

It is argued here that in commercialized international VET at the micro level, at which clients and providers engage, providers act as knowledge or innovation brokers rather than policy entrepreneurs. Therefore, the analytical lens of policy transfer that is frequently employed to make sense of international VET is discarded in this paper.

On the basis of comparative case study research on German VET providers operating in Mexico and Serbia, the present study explores micro level international VET. Of particular interest is the question with which kind of innovative knowledge and practices German ‘brokers’ enter the targeted markets, to whom they cater and which demands they satisfy. As Mexico and Serbia seek to make their VET provision future-proof, interlinkages and tensions between foreign VET services and local VET reform initiatives are explored, too. On the basis of specifically developed indicators, answers are also sought regarding the potential for diffusion of innovative knowledge or practices introduced by foreign VET providers from the client i.e. firm level to other levels of the economy and VET system. The contribution also reflects critically on whether commercialized international VET contributes to privatization and individualization of VET and, thus, possibly limiting access to education and training.

Transfer in International VET Cooperation: Perspectives of German VET Providers

Lisa MEYNE, Susanne PETERS

University of Bremen, Germany

In the context of international comparative VET research, drivers and barriers to policy implementation are discussed as well as factors that significantly influence transfer processes at the level of political decision making. The existing academic work on the topic of VET transfer has so far been largely located at the macro level, although it should also be noted that there is a greater amount of theoretical-conceptual work than empirically validated results in this field. Information on individual projects of transfer is considered of little value in terms of scientific generalizability. Still, in order to develop a better understanding of transfer, it is useful to include individual projects in the analysis. That is because we assume that a project perspective provides insights into how actors in VET transfer understand the latter, with their understanding in turn shaping the entire sector as well as the entire transfer work. Our research question is: What understanding of transfer do vocational training service providers develop in their internationalization projects? Can different types and phases of transfer be identified? We seek to answer these questions by drawing on case studies that involve German VET providers, sampled from a German funding line. Based on qualitative and quantitative data, process documents, and previous research the perspectives regarding and approaches to transfer are being collected in in-depth interviews with project actors. Among other theoretical approaches, Dolowitz and Marsh's policy continuum forms our theoretical framework.

Enhanced impact through skills development - Opportunities for private sector investments in Africa

Ramon LEYENDECKER1, Linda Helgesson Sekei2

1NIRAS - International Consulting, Germany; 2NIRAS - International Consulting, Denmark

The paper is a secondary analysis of a study commissioned by the Danish ‘Investment Fund for Developing Countries’ (IFU), focusing on the role of the private sector in skills development. The paper draws on two sets of data: (i) synthesis of international grey literature related to skills development; and (ii) eight case studies of IFU investees in four sectors: tourism and hospitality, renewable energy, health, and finance; and five African countries. A focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance dimensions and contributing to the SDGs is a prerequisite for IFU to investment. The paper synthesises the generalized findings about private sector involvement in Africa and the specific case studies. The findings and recommendations deepen the understanding about opportunities and obstacles of private sector involvement, for companies as well as international organisations supporting skills development in Africa. The research framework and analysis invite further research in other sectors or African countries or geographic regions.

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