Author(s):Svein Michelsen (presenting), Håkon Høst

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

Network:02. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)

Format:Symposium Paper

Session Information

02 SES 12 B, Is There Something Like a Nordic Model of VET? Findings from a Comparative Project



Room:Vet-Theatre 115

Chair/Discussant:Christian Helms Jørgensen/ Lorenz Lassnigg


A possible Nordic VET model?

The historical development of VET in the Nordic countries have not gained much attention within the field of VET research. It is sometimes acknowledged that the skilled workers in the Nordic countries have contributed to its economic success, but not much more than that. Whether or not a specific Nordic model exist in education is contested. Often it is associated with social democracy and the comprehensive school or the early formation of a universal public school systems. Other observers state that the Nordic countries have been marked by cultures in which small social distances, autonomy and nationalism have been mixed with respect for skills and knowledge and broad international orientations . The paper discusses commonalities and differences in the formation of VET in the Nordic countries, their historical development trajectories in light of more general models. Do they form a more or less haphazard path, or can commonalities between the cases belonging to a specified region be identified ? Last but not can commonalities be revealed compared to other European cases in general and the notion of collective skill formation systems in particular?


Busemeyer, Marius R and Trampusch, Christine (2012) The Political Economy of Skill Formation. Oxford University Press: Oxford.
Ringer, Fritz (1987) The Rise of the modern educational system: structural change and social reproduction, 1870-1920. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.
Sørensen, Ø and Stråth,B. (1997), The Cultural Construction of Norden. Scandinavian University Press Oslo
Waarden, F. (1995) «Employers and employer’s associations» In Ruysseveldt,J. Huiskamp,R. and van Hoof J. (eds) Comparative industrial & employment relations. Sage Publications: London

Author Information

Svein Michelsen (presenting)
University of Bergen, Department of administration and organization theory
Håkon Høst
Nordic Institute for Studies of Innovation, Research