Latest news on European research in learning and work [L&W] - April 2016


Particularly worth noting in this edition are calls for papers relating to the London Conference on Employer Engagement in Education and Training, the CVER Conference on the economics of VET (see Conferences), the VET & Culture meeting in Vienna, the EAPRIL conference in Porto (see Networks), the International Journal of HRD Practice, Policy & Research, and the Journal of International Mobility: deadline 1st April! (see Publications).

Many thanks to all who contributed information for this edition and who sent helpful feedback. The L&W Newsletter reaches you via a mailing list of about 1500 experts in and beyond Europe. It focuses on transnational research activities in the field of human resource development (HRD) and vocational education and training (VET), centred on major categories: conferences, networks, programmes, projects and publications. The next edition will appear in early June 2016. You are invited to submit short pieces of news (texts of 100 to 200 words, without attachments, but including links to web pages) - please by 31 May 2016 at the latest!

Should you prefer to read the current edition online, you can find it on the L&W website ( under April 2016. Please pass the Newsletter on to your own colleagues and networks. Special thanks to our partners CR&DALL, PASCAL International Observatory, UFHRD, UNEVOC, VET&Culture and VETNET for sharing the L&W Newsletter via their mailing lists and web portals!

With best wishes
Sabine Manning
Research Forum WIFO
Editor of the L&W Newsletter


London conference on employer engagement in education and training
This joint conference hosted by the Education and Employers Charity and the Edge Foundation, with support from the Department for Education (England) and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, will present new research on employer engagement in education and technical pathways, and explore implications for policy and practice.  The conference will share research insights from around the world. The conference will take place on July 21 and 22, 2016 at the BIS conference centre in central London. Confirmed senior speakers from the Careers and Enterprise Company, CEDEFOP -European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, Department for Education, Department for Business Innovation and Skills, Education and Employers Research, the International Labor Organisation, the Inter-American Development Bank, the National Association of Head Teachers, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and UNESCO. All information, including how to register and a call for papers, can be found on our website.
(Received from Rachael McKeown <[email protected]>)

CVER conference: Economics of vocational education and training
The Centre for Vocational Education Research (CVER) at the London School of Economics (LSE) is holding a conference on the economics of vocational education and training in London on 5-6 September 2016. Keynote speakers include Professor Eric Maurin (Paris School of Economics), Professor Sarah Turner (University of Virginia), and Professor Stefan Wolter (University of Berne). We would like to invite papers on any aspect of the economics of vocational education and training. Please submit a full paper or an extended abstract by 30 April 2016 to [email protected]. The conference will be free to attend, but no funds are available for accommodation/travel. The conference will be relatively small and we expect to be over-subscribed. Full papers are preferred over extended abstracts. Decisions will be made soon after the deadline. More information about the conference will be posted in the next few weeks on our special events web page.
(Info received from CVER/Jo Cantley <[email protected]>)

NOTE: Forthcoming and recent events related to European research in work and learning are listed on the WIFO Conference page [].

Networks and Organisations

VET & Culture meeting in Vienna 20-21 June 2016 - update!
The VET & Culture Network will meet in Vienna to discuss the topic of "Academic and vocational education: Clash of cultures?". This will be the bi-annual informal meeting, which aims at intense and open discussions about the chosen topic. Venue: Institute for Advanced Studies/Institut fuer Hoehere Studien (IHS). Organisers: Iris Troppert ([email protected]), Lorenz Lassnigg ([email protected]). Please send us brief ideas/abstracts of what you want to bring to the workshop by April 10th 2016. We will try to assemble a draft programme by the last week of April. More detailed information, including the call, can be found at the VET & Culture webpage.  As places are not abundant, early registration is highly appreciated!
(Info received from Lorenz Lassnigg via VET&Culture mailing list)

EAPRIL conference in Porto 22 to 25 November 2016
We kindly invite you to our next EAPRIL conference, which will take place in Porto, Portugal from 22 to 25 November 2016. EAPRIL is the European Association for Practitioner Research on Improving Learning, both in education and professional practice, and brings together research and practice as well as educational and professional learning. Our upcoming 2016 conference will focus on the implications of the digital era on learning, working and practitioner research. Our keynote speakers Prof. Diana Laurillard and Prof. Alexander Gröschner will speak on the use of digital platforms and video in learning and teaching practice respectively. The EAPRIL Conference is known to be highly interactive and offers a wide range of presentation formats, both traditional formats and more innovative ones such as the popular Flipping the Session format and the new Case Study session. We would like to invite all practitioners and practitioner researchers working on educational and learning themes to submit their proposals by the 25th of May. Furthermore, our Best Research & Practice Project Award will be awarded to the best practitioner research project in the field of education and learning. Applications are possible until June 1, 2016. Please visit our website for more information:
(Posted by Laure Mostinckx <[email protected]>

Workshop on workplace learning
Opening the black box: Using technology to map the dynamics of workplace learning. Glasgow Caledonian University. 18 May, 2016 - 15:00 to 16:30
Digital technology has become increasingly central to support professional learning at the workplace. The use of technology to investigate the nature of workplace learning is, however, still in its infancy. In this seminar, We would like to give insights in the outcomes of our first studies, using sensor technology to describe the dynamics of social interaction patterns at work as a proxy for informal social learning. We will discuss the benefits and downsides of using sensor technology to study learning at the workplace and explore together a new world of research possibilities. Speaker: Dr Maaike Endedijk, Department of Educational Sciences, University of Twente, The Netherlands. Attendance is free and open to all, but places are limited so please book in advance by emailing: [email protected] (link sends e-mail). The full event details are at:
(Info provided by CR&DALL Site Digest for 03/31/2016)

Workshop: Developing women's leadership
Professors Carole Elliott and Sharon Mavin are hosting a workshop entitled 'Developing Women's Leadership: Theory and Practice' on 25-26th May at Roehampton University, London, UK. We welcome participants from the worlds of academia and practice to attend the workshop. More information can be found here, or contact Professor Carole Elliott, at email: [email protected]
(Posted by Carole Elliott)

Agricultural extension education leadership award
On January 27, Professor Martin Mulder received the 'Agricultural Extension Education Leadership Award' during the inaugural function of the 'International Extension Education Conference on Education, Research and Services', at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India, which was founded 100 years ago by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya. The Award was given for the 'highly innovative accomplishment for Agricultural Research, Education and Services', and was signed by the Vice Chancellor of BHU, Prof. Girish Chandra Tripathi. BHU is the biggest comprehensive residential university in India, and one of the biggest in Asia. The conference was organized by Conference Secretary Dr Kalyan Ghadei, of the Department of Extension Education, which is headed by Professor A.K. Singh.
(Info received from Martin Mulder <[email protected]>)

Your guide: Who's who in transnational European VET and HRD research
The Directory of Professional Contacts (, maintained by the Research Forum WIFO, serves as a Who's who, offering up-to-date information on more than 200 contacts across 30 countries in the field of transnational European VET and HRD research. Each person included in the DPC is both a producer of transnational research and an active transnational networker. The criteria for inclusion in the DPC and and the references to individual professional work are explained in the introduction. They relate to evidence of transnational activities presented in WIFO resources of European collaboration such as the Bookshelf, Overview of articles, Conference page, ECER VETNET Proceedings and Overview of HRD conference papers, Networks at a glance and Overview of projects. The DPC is updated continuously as part of European collaboration in VET and HRD research.
(Contributed by Sabine Manning)

NOTE: References to research networks in the field of European work and learning are available on the WIFO page Networks at a glance []. Major online resources related to European research networks include the ECER VETNET Proceedings ( offering a complete and up-to-date collection of conference papers submitted since 1998, and the Overview of selected HRD conference papers (


NOTE: Contributions are welcome for the next edition of the Directory of Doctoral Dissertations (, provided as part of the WIFO Gateway, which focuses on European research in the field of vocational education (VET) and human resource development (HRD). Please provide information on expected or newly completed doctoral dissertations investigating issues of HRD, VET or work-related adult education, according to the following pattern: 1*Theme of dissertation (original language AND English); 2*Year of (expected) completion or publication; 3*Author (name and email address); 4*Tutor (name and email address); 5*Institution of tutor (name and home page). Contributions should be posted by email to the editor ([email protected]).


Mapping mobility - pathways, institutions and structural effects of youth mobility in Europe (2015-2018)
The overall ambition of MOVE ( is to provide a research-informed contribution towards an improvement of the conditions of the mobility of young people in Europe and a reduction of the negative impacts of mobility through the identification of ways of good practice, thus fostering sustainable development and wellbeing. The main research question is: How can the mobility of young people be 'good' both for socio-economic development and for the individual development of young people, and what are the factors that foster/hinder such beneficial mobility? MOVE is based on a multilevel research design, including (1) qualitative case studies on six types of mobility (higher education, voluntary work, employment, vocational training, pupil's exchange, entrepreneurship), (2) Online-survey, and (3) secondary macro-data analysis, taking into consideration social inequality, e.g. migration background, gender, educational inequalities, impairments. The focus lies on the regional contexts of mobility and agency of young people. The consortium consists of 9 partners: University of Luxembourg (coordinator), University of Hildesheim and German Youth Institute (Germany), University of Miskolc (Hungary), Bucharest University of Economic Studies (Romania), Sogn og Fjordane University College (Norway), Ilustre Colegio Nacional (Spain), European Research and Project Office GmbH (Germany) and European Youth Information and Counselling Agency (Luxembourg).
(Contributed by Karen Hemming <[email protected]>)

Nord-VET conference 2016 June 7-8th at Roskilde University
Nord-VET invites everyone who is interested in the development and future of vocational education to a conference. At the conference, results from the project will be presented and discussed. The conference aims at stakeholders, organisations, professionals and practitioners in vocational education. Nord-VET is a comparative Nordic research project covering Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark in 2013-16. The purpose of the project is to generate new knowledge on the strengths and weaknesses of the different models of vocational education and training (VET) at upper secondary level in the four Nordic countries. The project explores what we can learn from the systems of vocational education and training in the Nordic countries. Reports on the development, the current state and innovations in vocational education can be accessed at the website: This website also provides a link leading to the details of the Conference, including the Programme, Presenters and Practical information. 
(Info received from Stephen Billett <[email protected]>)

International comparisons of HRD professional practice
The UFHRD/IFTDO Joint Scientific Committee commissioned and funded project on International Comparisons of HRD Professional Practice has now been completed and a report submitted to the two funding bodies. Conducted by a research team at Coventry University in the UK, the report examines similarities and differences across three continents;  Africa, Asia  and Europe. A Delphi style method was applied to select countries in each of these continents for collecting empirical data. The results of that were Nigeria for Africa, Taiwan and India for Asia and Ireland for Europe. Focus groups of professional practitioners were conducted in each of the four countries, with summaries of findings in each, and a cross case analysis being presented in the report. An extensive literature review was also done to supplement the empirical results. Together, the results of these methods inform and support a series of conclusions and recommendations to the Joint Scientific Committee. A key recommendation is to extend the research to additional countries and, as part of that, to redesign the on-line questionnaire, which unfortunately failed to deliver the expected and needed response rate in the project. Copies of the report will be available on the UFHRD; and IFTDO; websites.
(Posted by Jim Stewart <[email protected]>)

NOTE: Contributions are invited to update the Overview of European research projects [], provided as part of the WIFO Gateway. The overview focuses on transnational research projects, mainly supported by EU programmes, in the areas of human resource development, vocational education, work and learning. Please send the following information to the editor ([email protected]):  (A) exact title and acronym (short name) of the project; (B) name and email address of the coordinator or main contact; (C) address of the website (or info page/ flyer) of the project. Contact: Sabine Manning


Call for papers: Journal of International Mobility - Extension!
The French national Agency for Erasmus+ / Education & Training is calling for contributions for the fourth issue of its annual scientific publication entitled Journal of International Mobility: Moving for Education, Training and Research, which brings together scholarly articles on all aspects of international mobility as part of education and training in Europe and around the world. The members of the reading committee will select articles resulting from research, studies and experiments which fall under the following theme: Mobility and skills: validation and recognition. They may relate to general education, higher education and adult education, as well as both initial and continuing vocational training. For further details see website including Call for Papers (PDF). The deadline has been extended to April 1st. Please send your article to: [email protected].
(Posted by French National Agency)

The International Journal of HRD Practice, Policy & Research
The UFHRD and IFTDO are pleased to announce the first issue of their jointly sponsored new journal. An initiative of their Joint Scientific Committee, the journal is titled The International Journal of Human Resource Development: Practice, Policy & Research. It has the aim and ambition of bridging the academic and practitioner divide by bringing together international practitioner and academic expertise to promote and support the understanding and practice of HRD. This reflects the aspirations of the two sponsoring bodies, each from their own perspective. Given that one has an academic base and the other a professional base, the intention is that both appealing to and drawing on their different constituencies will facilitate achievement of the journal's aims. So too will the founding membership of editorial and advisory boards, as well as the current open access policy. The first issue can be found at, and the editorial team will be pleased to receive contributions for future issues and expressions of interest in joining with and supporting this exciting new publication.
Call for contributions: Issue 2 will be published in October, and the deadline for contributions to be considered for Issue 2 is 30 June. The editors are particularly interested to receive contributions from 'practitioner-scholars' or 'scholar-practitioners'. Contributions might emanate from 'commercial/ contract' practice-academic partnerships or indeed from the supervisor/ student of a final year or recently completed DBA (or similar). The journal's web site has notes for contributors and contact details.
(Posted by Jim Stewart <[email protected]> and Rick Holden <[email protected]>)

Adult education and lifelong learning
Egetenmeyer, Regina (ed.). Adult Education and Lifelong Learning in Europe and Beyond. Comparative Perspectives from the 2015 Würzburg Winter School. Studies in Pedagogy, Andragogy, and Gerontagogy Vol. 67. Peter Lang 2016 [Details]
This volume presents comparisons of adult education and lifelong learning with a focus on educational policies, professionalization in adult education, participation in adult learning and education, quality in adult education, and educational guidance and counselling. The essays are based on comparisons discussed at the international Winter School "Comparative Studies in Adult and Lifelong Learning", held in Würzburg, Germany, February 2015. Sub-topics of lifelong learning were chosen for an in-depth comparison and analysis of the situation in various European countries and beyond.
(Contributed by Regina Egetenmeyer <[email protected]>)

Work-based academic education
Lukas Graf. The rise of work-based academic education in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, Vol. 68 Iss. 1, pp.1-16 [Details]
Austria, Germany and Switzerland are renowned for their extensive systems of collective vocational skill formation, which, however, have developed largely in separation from higher education. This divide has become increasingly contested as a result of a variety of socioeconomic factors that have led to an increasing demand for higher level skills. Do the three countries deal with these challenges in similar ways? The comparative analysis is based on process tracing from the 1960s to 2013 and builds on historical institutionalism as well as several dozen expert interviews with key stakeholders. A key finding is that all three countries have developed hybrid forms of work-based academic education that combine elements of vocational training and higher education. However, in Austria and Switzerland, these hybrids have been integrated into the traditional model of collective governance, whereas the German case signifies a departure from this model.
(Contributed by Lukas Graf <[email protected]>)

Preparation for the world of work
India: Preparation for the World of Work. Education System and School to Work Transition. Matthias Pilz (Ed.). Springer 2016 [Details]
This book explores how the Indian education and training system prepares young people for the world of work and for the requirements of the employment market - because India is a leading industrialised nation with a very young population and a high demand for a skilled workforce. Indian experts write from a course-specific perspective, offering a comprehensive picture of educational policy, curriculum design and cultural characteristics. The virtual absence of a formalised system of vocational training in India underlines the importance of this research. In his introduction, Matthias Pilz sets out why India's focus on preparation for the world of work is highly relevant, and he concludes the volume with a view from the outside: India's school to work transition challenge - strengths and weakness.
(Info received from Matthias Pilz <[email protected]>)

The dual system as a guiding model
Georg Spöttl (2016): Das Duale System der Berufsausbildung als Leitmodell - Struktur, Organisation und Perspektiven der Entwicklung und europäische Einflüsse [The Dual System in Technical Education and Training as a Guiding Model - Structure, Organization, and Perspectives of its Development and European Influences]. Lang-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-631-64384-6 (Print); E-ISBN 978-3-653-03483-7 (E-Book); DOI 10.3726/978-3-653-03483-7
This recently published monograph is a complete overview of the Dual System of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Germany. The author addresses the great variety of structures and the intended function of the Dual System with a special focus on European influences on current developments. The increasingly controversially discussed topic of the Dual System is the center of interest. On the one hand the system seems to be indispensable for meeting the threatening shortage of skilled workers in the economy. On the other hand, however, the dual TVET is more and more pushed back by the persistent wave of academization. In addition, the willingness of companies to engage in training is declining, while alternative forms of initial training have developed that have led to an internal competition of different system approaches. Finally it is necessary to adhere to the given measures of Europeanization which do not always support the Dual System, while exerting visible influence on its further development.
(Contributed by Georg Spöttl <[email protected]>)

Understanding VET in England and Germany
Special Issue "Understanding Vocational Education and Training (VET) in England and Germany: Insights from the perspectives of policy-making and governance". Editors: Dina Kuhlee & Andrea Laczik. Research in Comparative and International Education (RCIE), Vol. 10, No. 4 (Dec 2015) [Details]
The English and German Vocational Education and Training (VET) systems differ in many ways, for instance in their structures, courses and institutional providers, in their function and position in the national education systems and in the roles of the government and private stakeholders in governance processes. This Special Issue seeks to answer specific questions on how the VET systems in England and Germany are governed and regulated. It investigates their particular institutional design, and identifies and contrasts some of the specific characteristics of policy-making and governance in VET in the two countries. Hence it seeks to distinguish differences in the approaches both countries take to developing their VET system. Accordingly, timely issues relevant to VET policy-making and governance processes are discussed for each country. These issues include a) the influence of reform processes in HE on VET, b) disadvantaged youth and young people's participation in VET, c) labour market developments and VET, and d) the relationships between the European and national education policy developments related to VET. This Special Issue demonstrates the different conditions under which the English and German systems operate, and questions the adaptability of the two VET systems to political reforms.
(Contributed by Dina Kuhlee <[email protected]>)

Comparative perspective on apprenticeships
Anna Mazenod. Education or training? A comparative perspective on apprenticeships in England. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, Vol. 68 Iss. 1, pp.102-117. [Details]
This paper examines the expansive–restrictive continuum of apprenticeship learning in the context of different education and training systems. It compares the English state-funded apprenticeship programme for young people with the Finnish and the French programmes, with a specific focus on access to learning through the programmes. These three countries represent three types of Western and Northern European education and training systems. The paper argues that there are country-specific meanings of apprenticeship that influence how access to learning along the expansive–restrictive continuum is typically characterised. These country-specific meanings of apprenticeship arise from their context in differing education and training systems. The paper concludes that the English conceptualisation of apprenticeship as training lends itself to more restrictive approaches to apprenticeship than the Finnish and the French programmes in terms of access to learning.
(Contributed by Anna Mazenod <[email protected]>)

Non-formal education in international comparison
Katrin Kaufmann. Non-Formal Education in International Comparison: Patterns of Participation and Investment in Selected European Countries. International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training (IJRVET) Vol. 2, No. 4 [Details]
The article focuses on participation and related investment patterns in job related non-formal education (NFE) in selected European countries (Norway, Sweden, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Spain, France, UK). Including information on financial and time investments by employers, employees and public authorities in NFE, four formats of NFE are distinguished: company-sponsored and individual-financed NFE as well as cases with shared investment between employers and employees (co-financed NFE) and between employers, employees and public funding (co-financed pooled NFE). Overall, results support previous results, as the major part of job related NFE is purely sponsored by employers. However, co-financed NFE formats prevail in all countries, too. Determinants included explain best participation in company-sponsored NFE. Nevertheless, participation patterns for co-financed NFE formats differ compared to fully company-sponsored or self-financed NFE and between countries. Results emphasize the relevance of distinguishing formats of AET by investment distinctively and taking monetary and time investments into consideration. However, further exploration and differentiation is needed, especially regarding the co-financed NFE formats. Analyses are based on data of the Adult Education Survey (AES) 2011/12.
(Contributed by Katrin Kaufmann <[email protected]>)

Validating non-formal and informal learning
Cedefop (2015). European guidelines for validating non-formal and informal learning. Luxembourg: Publications Office. Cedefop reference series; 104. ISBN 978-92-896-1979-0 [Details]
The guidelines are targeted at individuals and institutions responsible for initiating, developing, setting up and operating validation arrangements. These arrangements will enable individuals to increase the visibility and value of their knowledge, skills and competences acquired outside formal education and training: at work, at home or in voluntary activities. This publication is the result of a cooperation between the European Commission and Cedefop in full consultation with EU member states. The printed version of the publication will be available shortly. If you would like to receive a print copy, please message us your full postal address and number of copies required.
(Posted by Bettina Brenner <[email protected]>)

NOTE: Updates on publications provided by the WIFO Gateway include the WIFO Bookshelf [], a collection of references to publications focusing on cross-European issues of work and learning, and "From the Journals" - Overview of articles on cross-European issues in VET and HRD research [], selected from European and international Journals related to education research [].


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