02.–04. Februar 2022
SFUVET - 7th International VET Congress

The Future Potential of Vocational Education and Training: Strengthening VET for the next generation

For the seventh time, the Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training SFUVET invites researchers to engage in an exchange of ideas and research findings and to reflect on VET issues. We encourage contributions related to the leading topic of the congress and also welcome all other areas and topics of VET research.

Teamwork of the staff, creative and friendly atmosphere
© Adobe Stock / Zarya Maxim

The theme, “The future potential of vocational education and training: Strengthening VET for the next generation”, alludes to the divergent developments that vocational education and training has been facing in recent years. The proportion of young people entering VET has declined in many countries, and academic education has expanded. Yet VET, and particularly firm-based VET, has been put forward as a remedy for youth unemployment. Consequently, numerous countries have attempted to strengthen VET in order to integrate young people more swiftly into the labour market after completion of upper-secondary education. At the macro level, VET has been recognized as a factor that influences economic prosperity and contributes to an adaptable and multiskilled workforce. However, VET has also been held responsible for hampering workers’ ability to adapt to changing skill demands because its teaching of general skills may be too limited.

These developments raise two questions: How does vocational education and training adapt to the new challenges and diverging trends? Which factors contribute to strengthening or weakening vocational education and training at the level of national economies, educational systems, schools, firms, and individual learners? The Congress aims to contribute to these questions and provide an overview of national and international VET research activities. We welcome all areas of VET research. The Congress also aims to facilitate academic exchange between leading institutions and to present the latest international research findings from various academic disciplines.

We are looking forward to meeting you.

Prof. Dr. Irene Kriesi (Chair of Congress) and Dr. Sonja Engelage (Co-Chair)

Given the pandemic development the VET Congress will be held online.

Keynote speakers

Prof. Dr. Lukas Graf is Assistant Professor of Educational Governance at the Hertie School - The University of Governance in Berlin. His research combines comparative institutional and organizational approaches to analyze current educational policy and governance challenges, as well as questions of social inequality, in Europe and beyond. Previously, Lukas Graf has held research posts at the University of St. Gallen, the University of Luxembourg and the WZB Berlin Social Science Center.

Prof. Dr. Raija Hämäläinen works at the University of Jyväskylä (JYU) in Finland. Recently, Raija and her research group were awarded the European Commission’s VET Excellence Award. The driving force for their research is a rapidly changing world in which structural change is reshaping learning and professional development. The preconditions for designing future learning and professional development are the analysis and understanding of learning and interaction processes and their contextual adaptations. Specifically, Raija and her group seek to understand learning and professional development by investigating how learning and interaction processes occur and unfold over time with novel methods, such as eye-tracking, heartrate variability and prosodic analysis of voice.

Prof. Dr. Lorna Unwin is Professor Emerita in Vocational Education at the UCL Institute of Education, London, and an Honorary Fellow of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. Her research interests are in how people develop occupational expertise and the relationship to the changes and continuities in the way different forms of work are organised. She is also interested in the cultural and aesthetic potential of vocational education and training.  Her recent books include the Wiley Handbook of Vocational Education and Training and Contemporary Apprenticeships: International Perspectives on an Evolving Model of Learning (published by Routledge). 


Prof. Dr. Stefan C. Wolter is Director of the Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education as well as Professor of Economics at the University of Bern, where he heads the Centre for Research in Economics of Education. Besides other functions, he is Swiss delegate to the Education Policy Committee and governing board member of the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) of the OECD, former chair of the expert group on VET of the OECD and founding president of the Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training SFUVET. 

Scientific Committee

Dr. Sonja Engelage
Senior Researcher
Swiss Federal University of Vocational Education and Training SFUVET, Switzerland

Prof. Dr. Christian Imdorf
Professor of Sociology of Education
Leibniz University Hannover, Germany

Prof. Dr. Irene Kriesi
Head of Research Area “Strategic Planning of VET”
Swiss Federal University of Vocational Education and Training SFUVET, Switzerland

Prof. Dr. Dominik Petko
Professor of Teaching and Educational Technology
University of Zurich, Switzerland

Prof. Dr. Harald Pfeifer
Professor of Economics of Vocational Education and Training
Maastricht University and German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, (BIBB), Germany

Prof. Dr. Peter Schlögl
Professor of Educational Sciences
University of Klagenfurt, Austria

Prof. Dr. Barbara Stalder
Head of Educational and Social Sciences; Institute for Upper Secondary Education
University of Teacher Education Bern, Switzerland