The future of Vocational education - learning from the Nordic countries

Purpose of the research project

The purpose of the project is to generate significant new knowledge on the strengths and weaknesses characterizing the different models of vocational education and training (VET) at higher secondary level in the Nordic countries. This knowledge will increase the opportunities for systematic policy learning in relation to key dilemmas in the development of VET in the future in these countries. The Nordic countries provide unique opportunities for comparative research in the field of initial vocational education.

On the one hand they are characterized by similar societal contexts; on the other hand they exhibit significant differences in their models of VET. This situation has made the Nordic countries a fruitful living experiment of diverging forms of VET, in which a variety of significant qualities can be explored in relation to similar societies.

The purpose of this project is to generate knowledge on the different Nordic ways of managing the key dilemma of providing double access to the labour market and to higher education (HE) in vocational education. More specifically it seeks to determine how the different approaches in handling this dilemma have an impact on social reproduction, inclusion and the esteem of vocational education. This problem-oriented, comparative approach is expected to generate new knowledge that can be instrumental in the future development of VET in the Nordic countries.