Author(s):Marthe Geiben (presenting)

Conference:ECER 2016, Leading Education: The Distinct Contributions of Educational Research and Researchers

Network:02. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)


Session Information

02 SES 07 B, VET: Working Together

Paper Session


Room:Vet-Theatre 115

Chair:Eileen Luebcke


Transfer in (international) VET cooperations

Vocational training is currently experiencing a renaissance in the international and European discussions. This is visible not only in different statements of the OECD (OECD action plan for youhts, OECD skills strategy) and the European Commission (e.g. youth guarantee, European Alliance for pursuing, Riga Declaration) but also in an increasing number of requests for cooperation and support to assist in the reform of vocational education and training in European and non-European countries to countries with a dual vocational education and training system.

These requests are supported on the one hand by financial support from the EU (e.g. in the framework of ERASMUS + projects) on the other hand by bilateral cooperation between countries. 

In this later context, a memorandum between the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Ministries for Education and the Ministries for Labour in Slovakia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Latvia was adopted in December 2012. This lead to the establishment of the Central Office for international professional education cooperation (GOVET) in September 2013. Hence on a federal level in Germany, long-term cooperation ware continued and intensified; furthermore many new projects started (GOVET - annual report 2015).

As a result of this memorandum (among others) the topics of international cooperation and transfer were back as highly relevant in the political and scientific discussions. In these discussions, it is important to keep in mind that professional education cooperation is an important part of German development aid policy since the 1950s. Even if there have been different priorities and objectives in the collaboration in the various decades (Greinert et al. 1997) important experiences have been made. These can serve as information and support for current plans and projects. Therefore, it is important to collect and “recycle” these expriences. Furthermore considerations of national transfers as provided e.g. in the context of pilot projects (e.g. Twardy 1995, pp. 225 ff) should be  incorporated in these reflections.

Another important aspect is to analyze different theoretical approaches and models of transfer and in how far they are reflected in the implementation of such projects.


The research is mainly based on literature review with a multi-perspective approach to the topic. In a first step, already existing theoretical models (e.g. Tanaka 2005; Phillips and Ochs 2004) and considerations (e.g. Hummelsheim and Baur 2014; Barabasch and Wolf 2011) as well as reflections from concrete experiences (e.g. GOVET, Bliem et al. 2014; Euler 2013) are discussed and analyzed for similarities and differences. Then, selected practical examples of transfers (e.g. from the BIBB-Advisory Service) are presented and reflected in the light of these first considerations.

Expected Outcomes

This Approach should help to work out common features and peculiarities of different forms of cooperation.
Aim is not to devcelop a "blueprint" for all upcoming cooperation but to create information on important conducive and obstructive elements for transfer in the context of VET cooperation.


Barabasch A, Wolf S (2011) Internationaler Policy Transfer in der Berufsbildung. Konzeptionelle Überlegungen und theoretische Grundlagen am Beispiel deutscher Transferaktivitäten. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft (14):283-307
Bliem W, Schmid K, Petanovitsch A (2014) Erfolgsfaktoren der dualen Ausbildung. Transfermöglichkeiten. ibw-Forschungsberichte edn. Institut für Bildungsforschung der Wirtschaft (ibw), Wien
Euler D (2013) Das duale System in Deutschland - Vorbild für einen Transfer ins Ausland? Bertelsmann Stiftung, Gütersloh
Greinert W-D, Heitmann W, Stockmann R, Vest B (eds) (1997) Vierzig Jahre Berufsbildungszusammenarbeit mit Ländern der Dritten Welt. Die Förderung der beruflichen Bildung in den Entwicklungsländern am Wendepunkt? , vol 10. Studien zur Vergleichenden Berufspädagogik. Nomos-Verlagsgesellschaft, Baden-Baden
Hummelsheim S, Baur M (2014) The German dual system of initial vocational education and training and its potential for transfer to Asia. Prospects Quaterly Review of Comparative Education 44 (2)
Phillips D, Ochs K (2004) Researching policy borrowing: some methodological challenges in comparative education. British Educational Research Journal 30 (6):773-784
Tanaka M (2005) The cross-cultural transfer of educational concepts and practices a comparative study. Symposium Books, Oxford
Twardy M (ed) (1995) Modellversuchsforschung als Berufsbildungsforschung [Beiträge des 6. Symposion Fachdidaktik Wirtschaftswissenschaften, 5./6. Oktober 1994 an der Universität zu Köln]. Wirtschafts-, berufs- und sozialpädagogische Texte : Sonderband, vol 6. Botermann und Botermann, Köln

OECD Action plan for youhts:
OECD skills strategy:
GOVET Jahresbericht:
GOVET – Erfolgsmerkmale dualer Ausbildung:

Author Information

Marthe Geiben (presenting)
Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung
Grundsatzfragen der Internationalisierung / Monitoring von Berufsbildungssystemen