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Higher VET in Sweden: A policy of market driven education and employability
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Adult Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3150-4853
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The labour markets around the world are changing and political leaders of many countries find themselves facing high unemployment rates. In many cases their answer is “Give the workers new skills!” In Sweden, the Higher Vocational Education (the HVE) allow adult students to further or change their careers. The HVE-programmes can only be given if there is an explicit demand from employers pledging their needs and involvement. This paper ties into several of the conference themes focusing on ‘higher VET’ and ‘VET policymaking’.

The HVE has an increasing political importance and growing share in the Swedish educational system. It is getting bigger, and is used extensively as a good example. Politicians and social commentators are using the good results regarding employment rate of students who graduated (ca 90 %) as a justification for designing other forms of education and labour market interventions after the HVE-model. Studies done, examining the HVE, are less than a handful and all commissioned work from the responsible national agency. There is a gap in the research field and a need to study this new form of education operating on different logics than the rest of the Swedish educational system.

Within the HVE there is a wide range of programmes in many different fields of study, all at non-academic tertiary level. What programmes are offered in the HVE varies over time since it is there to meet the needs of a changing labour market. Students can graduate with skills appropriate for working as for instance train drivers, technicians, health administrators, veterinary assistants, pharmacy technicians or managers in hotels and restaurants.

This paper presents early results from a doctoral study contributing to the exploration of VET and higher VET trough examining the phenomenon of relations between policy and implementation in the HVE. As a first part of a two-part study, policy documents are analysed using curriculum theory and the concepts developed in the work of Basil Bernstein, e.g. classification, framing, code as well as horizontal and vertical discourses. The analysed material consists of law; ‘the act of Higher Vocational Education’ and documents of regulation regarding the HVE. This material is complemented by instructional material presented by the responsible national agency aimed at the education providers running HVE-programmes.

The results display the governing of a new type of education, essentially different to what constitutes the traditional emancipatory Swedish ideal of adult education. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
Higher VET, policy, discourse, curriculum, employability
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-145349OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-145349DiVA, id: diva2:1185432
Conference
12th JVET Conference Researching Policy and Practice in Vocational Education and Training Worcester College, Oxford, 7th – 9th July 2017
Funder
Linköpings universitetAvailable from: 2018-02-24 Created: 2018-02-24 Last updated: 2018-02-24

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Köpsén, Johanna

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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More styles
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