The European Research Network in Vocational Education and Training (VETNET) covers a broad range of research and development activities in vocational education and training (VET). The field of VET-related research covers both initial VET and continuing vocational training, both school-based and workplace-based learning provisions as well as the development of pedagogic expertise for vocational and professional education.
VETNET provides an open platform for basic (discipline-based) research that deals with some aspects of VET as well as for more specialised (interdisciplinary) research approaches that are more closely involved in the development of VET systems. The topics that have been covered by VETNET are related to several thematic clusters such as:
- VET-related policy studies and cross-cultural comparisons between different VET systems,
- studies on current developments in working life and in the labour markets (as preconditions for the shaping of VET provisions),
- studies on the uses of VET by diverse target groups and on the impact of training measures on the career development of the users,
- studies on the shaping of curricula and learning environments for VET and evaluation of educational impact of pilot projects.
The objectives of the VETNET network in promoting a common European research culture are:
- to promote the discussion and dissemination through mutual learning of research and the use of research results;
- to explore the relationship between research, policy and practice;
- to foster the highest quality of research in the field of Vocational Education and Training; and
- to encourage cooperation under VET researchers in the European research area and beyond.
VETNET Convenor and Co-convenors form the Board of VETNET. The Board organizes the double blind review process for the papers submitted. Based on these reviews the annual VETNET programme is defined. The Convenors are elected for three years by a general assembly of the VETNET members (ca. 500).
Other functions are:
- to promote research cooperation in the European research area and beyond;
- to develop the VETNET programme in ECER as a stimulating research forum for discussion and debate
- to organise other European conferences and workshops as appropriate;
- to report annually to EERA;
- to administer VETNET affairs and any financial matters concerning VETNET efficiently;
- to support good communications within the European research area by the use of the web and electronic and other newsletters as appropriate and
- to run an academic journal of international standing: International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training (IJRVET)
KEYWORDS underlining the special research focus of VET:
- Analyses of VET-related policies in national and European contexts,
- Comparisons of different VET systems and cultural contexts for the development of VET,
- Analyses of learning at workplaces and of arrangements for promoting work-related learning,
- Analyses of changing skill needs and of measures to promote lifelong learning,
- Monitoring of school-to work transition and socio-cultural patterns for career development,
- Studies of new learning designs and of piloting their usability with different learners,
- Analyses of curricular and social innovations in VET (including ICT-related learning and e-learning in the context of VET)
- Development of methodologies for innovation research and evaluation research in VET,
- Analyses on the role of research in the professionalisation of pedagogic expertise in VET,
- Analyses of the role of VET-related research in promoting cross-cultural cooperation and knowledge transfer in European and international contexts.