Call for Papers: International Conference “Crossing Boundaries in Vocational Education and Training”, University Rostock, 16th – 18th August 2017, Germany

Keynote Speakers: 

  • Prof. Stephanie Matseleng Allais, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Prof. James Avis, University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom
  • Prof. Karin Büchter, Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg, Germany
  • Prof. Markus Neuenschwander, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland
  • Prof. Sabine Pfeiffer, University of Hohenheim, Germany

One year after founding the Institute for VET at the University of Rostock and two years after the first “Crossing boundaries in VET – Conference” in Bremen, we invite researchers from the field of vocational education and training as well as from adjacent disciplines to participate and give presentations at our conference with respect to the following reference levels. 

Boundaries defining and shaping the field of vocational education and further training (VET):

  • Reference level 1 ‘Systems’: Socio-culturally different VET systems have evolved along conceptual lines. The comparison of different skill formation systems and governance of VET systems are on the one hand of theoretical and on the other hand of practical importance in the context of economic development and international cooperation. The comparison allows for the identification of strengths and needs of improvement and the recognition of gaps. In a comparative perspective with regards to the current state as well as the necessary/possible developmental directions for the respective systems, the question of support of educational justice and a successful transition to the labour market arises.
  • Reference level 2 ‘Institution and Agency’: The different VET systems are defined by the interactions of the involved institutions, stakeholders and participating individuals. These are not only an expression of professionalization they also indicate the systems boundaries and interfaces. These inter-institutional spaces of open or closed discourses, depend to the regional and national culture and the political mission statements of the collaboration partners. Which rules have been established? How do educational institutions and labour institutions communicate and interact? Which cooperations and transitions are possible or would be needed to increase participation?
  • Reference level 3 ‘Practice and Actors’: In the institutions or systems of rules, practices have been established to cope with the central questions of teaching, learning, and competence development. Practices of teaching and learning can help to lower boundaries of qualification and employment biographies. What is needed for teacher training, students` collaboration and for research itself to cross institutional boundaries or to focus central conflicts and contradictions to encourage the individual person to face them? How to ensure the aim of ‘Bildung’ in VET-Didactics and the culture of interaction? What are the different formal and informal practices, how do they relate to each other, and what developments are evident for social inclusion and public welfare?

The three reference levels are influenced by conceptual ideas, terms, and constructs. In 2017 we will focus on conceptual ideas and structural approaches that are helpful for crossing boundaries towards democratic society with well trained and self-confident workers as well as sustainable development. Therefore it has to be discussed which developments are evident, and which of these are fit for future requirements and the specific history of their region? Collaboration in the Baltic region is given a special attention in the conference.

Presentation time: 20 minutes


Papers will be selected for presentation on the basis of a double-blind review-process. Criteria for selection are:

  • Conceptual and theoretical framework
  • Clarity of the research question explored
  • Empirical methods and/or theoretical foundation
  • New insight and originality
  • Thematic consistency to the conference title

To ensure the integrity of the double-blind review the submission should include in a separate document full contact details, including the authors’ brief bio, institution affiliation, and e-mail address. Please delete your name in the main document from the text, with Author and year used in the references and footnotes, instead of the author’s name. Approved papers will be published in conference proceedings. Best papers will be selected and proposed for publication in a special edition of IJRVET International Journal for Research in Vocational Education: 


  • Submission of the abstract: December 15, 2016 500-1000 words
  • Notification of acceptance: February 15, 2017
  • Submission of the long paper: May 31, 2017 up to 2000 words

Please send your abstract to 

Conference Venue: 

The City Municipality of Rostock is a Hanseatic city in Northeast Germany by the sea. The University of Rostock, where the conference is hosted, founded in 1419 is the oldest in the Baltic region. From Rostock there is a fast ferry-connection to Denmark, where the European Conference of Educational Research takes place in Copenhagen a week later.

Registration fee: no


We are looking forward to receiving your abstract.

Professor Franz Kaiser and Professor Michael Gessler, on behalf of IRN-VET WERA, VETNET EERA, ibp University of Rostock and ITB University of Bremen