5.3 Cooperation and networking with other educational institutions

Cooperation and networking with other education and training institutions has become a quality objective for many VET providers. The purpose is manifold – common information, making the institution and its vocational programmes known, exchange of experience, networking and comparison with other institutions – all these activities with various effects on quality.

Most VET institutions pay special attention to cooperation with secondary/upper secondary schools whose graduates are considered potential students. Apart from traditional activities such as open days, some VET providers apply active recruitment strategies by organising information days at local secondary/upper secondary schools, where VET programmes on offer are presented to parents and prospective students. Institutional cooperation schemes with schools aim to prepare pupils for vocational programmes and support their smooth transition to VET.

Cooperation with other VET institutions can provide additional learning opportunities through participating in provider networks. Such networking with other VET providers may range from an informal exchange of experiences supporting common learning to cooperation in development and joint delivery of training programmes and targeted activities for benchmarking results.

Because of competition in the training market, exchange and cooperation between VET institutions will often be limited, despite the above-mentioned common activities. As interviewed VET providers have stressed, the harder VET institutions compete in the open market, the more limited their willingness is to exchange good practices in quality management. No institution wants to lose its competitive advantage.

Where cooperation takes place, the benefits for quality lie in identification and transfer of good practices to one’s own institution and in receiving external feedback. Several VET providers cooperate with one another to pilot schemes, renovate and modernise training programmes or promote use of eLearning, thus gaining added value for their programmes and improving quality standards of their services. A few VET providers participate in innovation projects with research institutes to develop new quality marks and safety norms.

Some institutions, especially those with a lifelong learning approach, have a clear focus on cooperation with higher education establishments. Analysis of VET institutions, especially those related to specific sectors, revealed interesting examples of cooperation between them and universities to develop jointly new programmes closer to professional career needs of their VET graduates than traditional higher education programmes. This improves quality standards of their services and represents an important added value for them.


Box 35. Results of cooperation with other educational institutions

  1. Ensuring a competitive edge, high visibility and improved attractiveness of a VET institution for prospective students, parents and companies.

  2. Development of new training programmes and modernisation of existing programmes through networking with other educational institutions.

  3. Acquiring new insights from joint delivery of training programmes and obtaining targeted benchmarking of results.

  4. Adding value to an institution’s own programmes and improving its own quality standards.

  5. Opening up new professional career pathways for graduates.



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5.3 Cooperation and networking with other educational institutions

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