Special Issue of Education and Training

Special Issue of Education and Training

My colleagues (Dr Saikat Maitra, Indian Institute of Management Kolkata, India; Prof. Dr. Matthias Pilz, Univ. of Cologne, Germany) are editing a special issue of the journal, Educationa and Training, entitled, 'Not in high regard: an exploration of low reputation of vocational education in the Global South'.

This special issue will explore a comparative analysis of the factors behind the lower reputation of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the Global South.

With massification of higher education, perceptions about TVET as inferior to academic education remains entrenched in many countries despite large investments, reforms and promotion of vocational education (Lee, Lee &Lam, 2022). In many countries TVET is stigmatized as “options for low achievers or drop outs in the general education system” or “a second choice for youngster failing to pass into higher education” (e.g. Hao &Pilz 2021). Moreover, an inferior perception of TVET pushes young people to increasingly prefer higher education to TVET, including university programmes that may not always have direct employment outcomes and which can then possibly limit employment prospects upon graduation (Billett, 2013). However, much of the literature highlighting good practices and factors influencing the image of TVET remains in the context of the Global North (e.g. Aarkrog 2020; Billett, 2013), with limited empirical research on the status of TVET in diverse settings of the Global South (eg. Ajithkumar & Pilz, 2018).

Additionally, the terms used and the concepts in the academic and political debate around TVET reputation are elusive and sometimes even confusing. Moreover, it is also not empirically evidenced in the limited research in this area how young people from the global south negotiate with this perceptual lack of reputation of vocational education (eg. Maitra & Maitra, 2021). This Special Issue aims to address these gaps by highlighting both empirical evidences as well as practical policy suggestions for making vocational education more attractive for young people.

The call is open to scholars working in any country but we particularly welcome proposals from scholars located in low- or middle-income countries who are conducting research in the above area. We specifically welcome cross- and inter-disciplinary research articles that revolve around (but are not restricted to) the following key concerns:

  • analyze the social, economic and cultural contexts that might impact the reputation of TVET across the global South;
  • strategies to deal with such barriers and how to make TVET more responsive to young people’s socio-economic well-being;
  • identify policies and practices that may help or have helped improve the attractiveness of vocational pathways in diverse contexts

List of topic areas

  • Post colonial society and educational development
  • Social factors (eg. gender, class, caste, ethnicity) impacting reputation of TVET
  • Policy issues addressing lack of reputation
  • Impact of TVET reputation on labour market
  • Marginalisation of TVET in relation to Higher Education
  • Lack of student diversity in TVET
  • Impact of reputation on TVET training and skill development
  • Teacher perception and TVET reputation
  • Attrition and reputation

Abstracts of no more than 500 words may be sent to [email protected] by 15 June 2023. Notification of acceptance: 15 July 2023.

Article submission opens: 1 May 2023

Article submission closes: 1 October 2023


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