EERA Europe

VETNET as Network 2 of EERA

VETNET was founded in the year 1996 as Network 2 of EERA European Educational Research Association. The founding meeting took place in the context of ECER’96 in Sevilla.

VETNET focuses on primarily on European research in Vocational Education and Training (VET). Based on our initial agreement the VETNET has been open for different approaches to VET research, such as:

a) Approaches that consider research on VET as a particular focal area for research that is based on established research disciplines (sociology, psychology, educational sciences …);

b) Approaches that consider VET research as an interdisciplinary field that focuses more strongly on VET policies and development of VET in practice;

c) Approaches that consider pedagogics of VET as special disciplines that contribute to professionalisation of teachers and trainers in VET and to related research.

Also, VETNET has been open for boundary-crossing dialogue with other EERA networks on common themes (workplace learning, European policy frameworks, professionalisation of teachers and trainers). Likewise,  VETNET has developed dialogue with other networks on similar themes.


During the years VETNET has become one of the largest and most active networks of EERA. In this way VETNET has become the umbrella community of European VET-realated research. EERA has recognised this and supported several initiatives of VETNET to give visibility to European VET research and to bring new features to conference culture. Among these initiatives we can mention the following ones:

  • Setting up a specific website for VETNET. The initial website (hosted by the Knownet) was at use 2004-2009. The next one (hosted by mixxt) was at use 2009-2015. Now we continue with the third generation website (powered by WordPress).
  • Introducing a conference radio into ECER. The first pilot years 2009 – 2011 were joint VETNET and EERA initiatives (carried out by Pontydysgu Ltd). Later on EERA took over this task.
  • Introducing an international journal for VET research. This has been a long-term initiative of the VETNET network. At certain phase EERA supported a feasibility study. When the initiative was ripe, EERA supported the launch of the journal IJRVET.


EERA was founded in the years 1994/95 as the European umbrella association of national associations for educational research. The critical push for this decision was given by initiative of the Dutch association to open their annual conference 1992 for European participation. After the first European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) in Enschede it took some time before the EERA was up and running and the series of ECER conferences could be continued 1995 in Bath and then on annual basis (ECER 1996 in Sevilla, ECER 1997 in Frankfurt, ECER 1998 in Ljubljana, ECER 1999 in Lahti, ECER 2000 in Edinburgh, ECER 2001 in Lille, ECER 2002 in Lisbon, ECER 2003 in Hamburg, ECER 2004 in Crete, ECER 2005 in Dublin, ECER 2006 in Geneve, ECER 2007 in Ghent, ECER 2008 in Göteborg, ECER 2009 in Wien, ECER 2010 in Helsinki, ECER 2011 in Berlin, ECER 2012 in Cadiz, ECER 2013 in Istanbul, ECER 2014 in Porto und ECER 2015 in Budapest). This series will be continued in the year 2016 in Dublin.

In the year 2009 EERA and its sister associations in other global regions (in particular the American AERA) joined forces to create a global umbrella association WERA. Since 2010 WERA has organised special sessions in the conferences of its member associations. In the ECER the WERA activities took the shape of a thematic section. Between the conferences WERA has provided a basis for focused work of international research networks (WERA IRNs) that cover a thematic research are and promote global knowledge development. One of these is the WERA International Research Network on “Internationalisation of Research in Vocational Education and Training” (WERA IRN-VET, see more on a special page of this website).