Editorial Issue 21: The Role of Excellence in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)

Aug 30, 2023 | Issue 21

Excellence in education can have different forms and definitions: while some understand vocational excellence as synonymous with high-quality TVET, others see excellence in providing learners with skills and abilities which guarantee employment through their labour market relevance. Excellence can also be achieved by adapting TVET programmes to current megatrends such as digitalization, Industry 4.0, artificial intelligence and environmental sustainability. Another definition might include the role of vocational excellence for achieving resilience of TVET systems vis-à-vis societal challenges, such as the demographic transition, migration or unemployment. In order for excellent TVET providers to address these challenges, one needs to find out how to identify and promote the drivers of vocational excellence. This can be done by taking a closer look at the key stakeholders in vocational excellence: (i) universities that promote research on excellence in TVET; (ii) governments, who need to create a policy context conducive to the emergence of vocational excellence; (iii) industry, as it plays a key role in providing experiential work-based learning opportunities and (iv) TVET teachers who provide work and task-based learning environments and act as agents of change when it comes to continuously adapting to a changing world of work. Together, these stakeholders can contribute to promoting excellence in TVET, which in turn enhances the reputation and responsiveness of TVET as a whole.

The papers in this issue of TVET@Asia provide insights into different countries’ approaches to achieving excellence in technical and vocational education and training. The authors contribute to highlighting best practice examples from their respective countries and regions by also highlighting the relevance of TVET research and the role of TVET teachers and trainers for excellence.

VI HOANG DANG and THANH THUY NGUYEN (Ho Chi Minh University of Technology and Education) explore the relationship between TVET providers and industry in Vietnam using an explanatory sequential design. Working with 162 manufacturing company managers, 36 selected managers, 18 TVET providing managers, 6 policymakers and 7 association representatives in Vietnam, they identified a significant need for a skilled workforce in industries and a mismatch with regard to the involvement of stakeholders in the skills development process. The findings pointed towards the significant role that localities should play in strengthening the public-private partnership model through the engagement of local authorities and community members.

HASAN CAGLAYAN DUNDAR from the University of Ankara Yildirim Beyazit examines the critical role of TVET training centres in decreasing Turkey’s high NEET (Not in Employment, Education, or Training) for young people. He found that TVET training centres play a key role in fostering a skilled workforce to boost economic growth. The paper advocates the holistic transformation of centres and the comprehensive system in order to reduce NEET rates.

J. MANUEL GALVIN ARRIBAS (European Training Foundation, Italy) discusses the importance of networking for vocational excellence, particularly in the context of addressing challenges such as climate change, demographic trends, and skills shortages. The European Training Foundation’s Network for Excellence is highlighted as an example of international networking on VET excellence. The article also emphasizes the strategic objective of vocational excellence in European member states and the need for innovative policy reforms. Additionally, it mentions the importance of vocational excellence in countries such as North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, and Moldova, among others.

SOLEIMAN PAKSERESHT (Bu-Ali Sina University) has written an article on improving coordination between stakeholders of the TVET system in Iran. The article discusses the history of governance regimes in Iran’s TVET system, and the challenges faced by the High Council in coordinating the formal, informal, and non-formal subsystems of skills training. The article analyzes the core model of coordination underpinned in the Comprehensive System of Technical and Vocational Education and Training Act (CSTVET) and embodied in the High Council structure and functions. The author uses the evaluation framework provided by the ILO and UNESCO in 2018 to identify ways of improving coordination between stakeholders of the TVET system in Iran.

The main focus of the paper written by MERVI JANSSON and ANNA LAGER (Omnia Education Partnerships, Finland) is concerning a research-based model that analyses vocational excellence. In general, the model developed by Jansson and Lager is composed of horizontal and vertical dimensions of vocational excellence. In specific, the horizontal dimension comprises infrastructure, human resources, pedagogical landscape, systems and processes and stakeholder collaboration, whereas the vertical dimension emphasizes innovation, greening and digitalisation. The authors assert that TVET providers must consider the influence of vertical components on the horizontal components in order to achieve vocational excellence. In short, the TVET excellence model serves as a framework and guideline to TVET practitioners to achieve vocational excellence through continuous improvement and collaboration between public and private sectors at both national and international levels.

SONGHEANG AI and VORN TIM (Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Technical Education Development (SEAMEO TED)) conducted a study to identify the core elements of instructional practices. The survey involved 87 instructors from a training institute in Cambodia and a set of questionnaires was used for data collection. In their study, Ai and Tim discovered that teaching methodologies, curriculum and training programs, content knowledge, and instructional materials and equipment are the major factors that contribute to effective instructional practices. The authors suggested that those identified components should taken into consideration for the purpose of instructors’ professional development.

The Editors of Issue 21
Lai Chee Sern, Niwat Moonpa, Tee Tze Kiong, & Songheang Ai


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