SFUVET VET Congress: The Best Paper Award goes to Berlin

What is the Future Potential of Vocational Education and Training (VET) and how can we strengthen VET for the next generation? One answer to these fundamental questions is to share best ideas and policies and thus to learn from each other. In that sense the best paper award of SFUVET’s 7th International VET Congress went to a study by Prof. Lukas Graf and Anna Lohse of the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

Bild Pokal gold

The paper of award-winner and keynote speaker Prof. Lukas Graf and PhD candidate Anna Lohse analyses differences between higher education and initial Vocational Education and Training (VET) regarding policy transfer and cooperation in cross-boarder regions. Second place went to a paper from the University of Zurich. Tobias Schultheiss and Prof. Uschi-Backes Gellner show that the updating of initial VET curricula with technologies from the research frontier is able to bring technologies faster into firms’ workplaces. Third place went to a paper by Prof. Rolf Becker from the University of Bern and Prof. Hans-Peter Blossfeld from the University of Bamberg, who analysed changes over time in the returns to education at entry into the labour market in West Germany.

Multi-disciplinary insights in VET research

The VET community does not only share new ideas. It also “re-values VET as a route to expertise in disruptive times” as keynote speaker Prof. Lorna Unwin from University College London’s Institute of Education stated. Faced with the pressures of daily life, many individuals are finding comfort and satisfaction in (re)learning and practising a craft as well as in buying handmade goods. As such, VET navigates the shifting sands of change and continuity, of heritage and innovation, and of quality and the marketplace.”

Tradition is no guarantee

The keynote of economist Prof. Stefan Wolter from University of Bern raised the question of whether the "old" instruments will also help us to solve new problems, and he advises caution: “Relying on the fact that the Swiss system has always mastered previous crises because it is built on a long tradition will not provide sufficient guarantee that it will also master all future crises.”

"The twenty-first century calls for novel, flexible skills and abilities in shared learning and working practices", as keynote speaker Prof. Raija Hämäläinen from University of Jyväskylä in Finland stated. The expert for technology-enhanced learning says: “Therefore, education and lifelong learning must aim not only to nurture the development of specific knowledge and professional competencies but also to support and teach productive learning processes.”

90 presentations in three days

The Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training SFUVET organises the International Congress on Research in Vocational Education and Training bi-annually. Due to the pandemic situation the congress was postponed from 2021 to 2022, hoping for an on-site event. However, organisers had to change to an online format in the last moment. Nonetheless, SFUVET’s 7th International VET Congress brought together about 190 participants from all over the world who attended and discussed 90 presentation from 2 to 4 February 2022.