Regional Conference on Vocational Teacher Education and Research

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Group Photo (Regional Conference on Vocational Teacher Education and Research)
Group Photo (click image to enlarge)
The conference on Vocational Teacher Education and Research as a Task and Challenge for the East and Southeast Asian Region took place from 24th to 25th in Shanghai, China. 223 people attended the regional conference composed of politicians and international and regional TVET experts. The majority had travelled from lands as diverse and varied as Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Indonesia, Japan, Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam – more than 20 countries were represented.

The two day conference was organized by the Chinese-German Institute of Vocational Education (CDIBB), supported by the Regional Cooperation Platform for Vocational Teacher Education in Asia (RCP), both situated at Tongji University, by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) and UNESCO Bangkok. Support was provided by the Chinese Ministry of Education, the Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation from Germany (BMZ) and it was carried out by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

The main purpose of the conference was to enhance the exchange of scientific results and innovations in Vocational Teacher Education and Research on Vocational Education from work carried out by the 13 member universities of the Regional Cooperation Platform for Vocational Teacher Education in Asia (RCP).

The conference addressed issues, such as standards for vocational teacher education, regionalization instruments for TVET, and practical didactic pedagogic and vocational practice orientation in vocational teacher education. The conference aimed at enhancing the exchange of research results and innovations in Vocational Teacher Education and Research on Vocational Education from work carried out by the 13 member universities of the Regional Cooperation Platform for Vocational Teacher Education in Asia (RCP). (See Conference Program and Conference Reader)

The conference was opened by Prof Feng Xiao, Director of the CDIBB and Chairman of the RCP. Prof Dong Qi, Vice president of Tongji University, welcomed the guests and presented a clear insight into Tongji University’s policy of international academic cooperation. The Consul General of Germany in Shanghai, Dr. Wolfgang Roehr, outlined Germany’s role in strengthening TVET-systems around the world. Aware of the existing difficulties such a transfer faces he encouraged the participants to continue on the path to sustaining national TVET-Systems via research. Mr. Liu Baoli, Director General of the Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges, Ministry of Education, China, welcomed the participants urging all to enjoy a successful conference. He expressed the particular interest the Chinese Government has in cooperating with other Asian countries in TVET and how he welcomes the initiative and commitment of the RCP. Prof Sam, Vice General Director, of the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) highlighted the outstanding opportunities the RCP offers by sharing immensely useful experiences and lessons learnt in seeking to improve TVET-systems, through the evidence-based knowledge and technical expertise acquired directly from research activities.

The actual working content of the conference was opened with keynote speeches. Dr Michaela Baur, head of TVET-section and Labour Market at GIZ Eschborn, Germany, brought forth valuable information on the current status and future prospects regarding “Areas of German-Asian TVET cooperation”. Assoc. Prof Dr Witaya Jeradechakul, Director of SEAMEO Secretariat Bangkok, Thailand, told of the impact on SEAMEO’s response to TVET in terms of SEA’s regional integration and SEAMEO’s regional role in TVET as well as SEAMEO VOCTECH’s activities as a regional centre. Dr Borhene Chakroun, Chief of TVET-section at UNESCO Paris, France, described and established the impacts of learning outcomes on the teaching and professional recognition of TVET teachers. He presented UNESCO’s policies in regard to the strengthening of outcome orientation in the TVET education system for optimal preparation of youth for the employment market.. Dr Thomas Schroeder, director of the RCP Secretariat in Shanghai, China, reported on the status quo of the RCP, its organizational structure and its ways of working. He indicated the various fields of development of the RCP member universities, the function of transnational research approaches and the societal role of the universities in their improvement of the TVET system via evidence based reforms. He explained how RCP research work would emphasize heavily upon applied research to support the demands of the universities for the initiation of societal innovations.

RCP’s workings were given particular substantiation by the contributions of Prof Numyoot Songthanapitak of Rajamangala University Technology Thanyaburi (RMUTT, Thailand) and Prof Boualinh Soysouvanh of the National University of Laos (NUoL). The professors described how national reforms of Vocational Teacher Education were achieved and decreed by the MoE as a result of the common work and cooperation of their regional research teams. Both reforms target a sustainable strengthening of process-oriented and student-centred didactic-methodological concepts and their integration into learning phases in industry, to fortify education’s employment market relevance.

The conference workshops addressed four subject areas to do with the further development of vocational teacher education and TVET systems in the region and give it greater relevance. In this regard the following innovative subject complexes were offered in the conference workshops to give the researchers of the regional cooperation platform and the researchers from the other countries the opportunity to present their research results:

  • Development of Standards and Study Programmes for Vocational Teacher Education (Prof Dr Georg Spoettl; Prof Dr Wang Jiping; Prof Dr Boualinh Soysouvanh; Assoc. Prof Numyoot Songthanapitak)
  • Regionalization and Respective Policies on Vocational Teacher Education (Dr Franz Gramlinger; Assoc. Prof Dr Nantana Gajaseni; Dr Paryono; Prof Rupert Maclean)
  • Enhancement of Vocational Education as a Self-Reliant Scientific Discipline (Prof Jiang Dayuan; Dr Gwang-Chol Chang; Dr Md Bruri Triyono; Prof Dr Feng Xiao)
  • Enhancement of Praxis-Orientation in Vocational Teacher Education (Prof Dr Antonius Lipsmeier; Dr Dadang Kurnia; Prof Phan Sy Nghia; Mr Lai Poh Hing)

Those who made presentations were invited to publish printed versions for the  2nd issue of A summary of the workshop’s content and powerpoint presentations can be downloaded via the following link:

>>> Conference Presentations

Dr Thomas Schröder, Dr Michaela Baur (GIZ), Dr Paryono (SEAMEO) , Mr Gwang Chol-Chang and Prof Numyoot Songthanapitak (RMUTT) took part in the final podium discussion.

  • The participants all confirmed the increasing relevance of an organised regional cooperation and exchange in the field of vocational education,
  • the high relevance of vocational teacher education for improving TVET systems in the region,
  • the societal relevance of vocational education research in universities which contributes to a sustainable further development of VTE and TVET systems.
  • the necessity for the development of common standards for vocational teacher education in the region.,
  • continual improvement of vocational teacher education that should take place not only in teaching locations in the university but in holist system that involves the companies and vocational schools and colleges as sites of learning
  • that networking the universities in the region would lead to a far better exchange of the knowledge and best practice examples at hand. It was considered pertinent to think how a future networking system could be linked to other networks with similar goals in other regions and how to implement it.

The conference participants were united in feeling that platforms such as the RCP have an essential function and significance in the sustainable development in the points mentioned above. In the light of the visible success of RCP the opinion was unanimously expressed that the RCP which at the moment consists of 13 universities from 10 countries and SEAMEO VOCTECH should be further developed and strengthened as the regional platform for the education and further education of vocational teachers.

See more Photos from this Event (click images to enlarge)

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