Education International: Comparative Cases in TVET

Education International Comparative Case Studies

Project Synopsis

Following from a 2016 report on global trends in Technical and Vocational Education (TVET), the PEW team was commissioned to take a closer look at the relationships between TVET and labour market structures in different countries. The countries examined in this study are Germany, Ethiopia, England, Côte d’Ivoire, Argentina, Australia, Taiwan. These countries represent economies at different stages of development.

The following questions guide the study:

  • To what extent is TVET linked to employment?
  • Is TVET responsive to students’ interests?
  • Is there public TVET, accessible to all?
  • To what extent is TVET weakened by privatization and marketization?

Global Trends in TVET

TVET is a critical component of UNESCO’s  2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In their 2016 report for Education International, Wheelahan and Moodie describe a number of challenges that must be overcome to create a robust, equitable, and sustainable TVET sector. Access to quality TVET for women and youth must be a priority. Wheelahan and Moodie also document the importance of public funding, citing evidence that private vocational education weakens access — especially for vulnerable groups — and does so at the direct expense of a sustainable, high quality public system.

Productive Capabilities in TVET

The conceptual framework for this study is the capabilities approach (Sen, 1999; Nussbaum, 2000). The capabilities approach is a model of human development that emphasizes the role of local institutions in supporting people to develop knowledge and skills. Employment is not the only objective of learning; instead, knowledge and skills are broadly conceived as those that help people to support their families and contribute to building strong resilient communities and workplaces that provide the necessary infrastructure to support socially just outcomes (Bonvin and Farvaque 2006).