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The Challenges of Policy Transfer in Vocational Skills Development

National Qualifications Frameworks and the Dual Model of Vocational Training in International Cooperation


Edited By Markus Maurer and Philipp Gonon

In the context of renewed global interest in the development of vocational skills, policy makers in many countries as well as representatives of technical organisations often hope to reform existing training systems by borrowing models and policies that seem to work elsewhere. One of these prominent models is that of ‘National Qualifications Framework’, the use of which now spans the entire globe. On a much smaller scale, the ‘Dual Model’ of vocational training – a systematic combination of school and workplace-based learning that is common in a number of countries in Western Europe – has also gained attention in international cooperation.
Bringing together contributions from authors involved in both the theory and practice of vocational skills training development, this volume analyses the challenges that are tied to the transfer of these two dominant models in the context of international cooperation, sheds light on how they are being implemented, and discusses alternatives to the standard approaches to policy transfer.
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The work of UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) in strengthening lifelong learning through National Qualifications Frameworks (NQFs): Madhu Singh



The work of UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) in strengthening lifelong learning through National Qualifications Frameworks (NQFs)

This analyses National Qualifications Framework (NQF) developments to better understand how countries use NQFs as tools to strengthen lifelong learning strategies and systems. It also presents criteria or benchmarks developed by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) to facilitate member states in making lifelong learning a reality through NQFs. The paper is based on evidence from various countries in the context of an on-going joint initiative on the Global Inventory of NQFs (ETF/CEDEFOP/UIL 2013). UIL has prepared examples from 34 countries that do not fall under the mandate of the European Union and the ETF partner countries (UIL 2013, forthcoming).

The following topics are discussed in this paper: firstly, UIL’s approach and methodology for sharing learning across countries; secondly, a conceptual framework which presents lifelong learning as an organising principle and an integrative concept, so that people across different sectors of society have opportunities to learn at all stages of their lives. The conceptual framework also includes a multi-level understanding of lifelong learning strategies that harmonises both top-down and bottom-up approaches. On the basis of this integrated approach, a lifelong learning policy framework developed by UIL is presented, in order to understand better the steps needed to operationalise lifelong learning using national qualifications frameworks. Empirical evidence is used to examine how countries use NQFs as a policy tool for lifelong learning in relation...

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