The Dutch Vocational Education System: Institutional Focus and Transformations

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Billett, Stephen
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DeBruijn, E

Billett, S

Onstenk, J

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2017
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Abstract

The origins of, changes to and transformations of national vocational education systems arise through country-specific combinations of social and economic imperatives and changes, and the Dutch vocational education system is no exception. Like others, its formation and initial form arose from industrialisation but shaped by a specific complex of factors that arose at that time. Over time, crises or perceptions of social and economic crises have led to requests for change from the State, and social partners; representing the interests of employers and employees, and also local and regional communities. These crises have been associated with responsiveness to changing industry need, concerns about the quality of student learning outcomes, and the extent and kind of governance arrangements being enacted in the management of vocational education institutions and programs at the local (i.e. regional) level. In elaborating the particular complex factors that shaped and continue to shape the Dutch vocational education system, this chapter draws on the contributions to this book and other sources, to illuminate and delineate these factors. It progresses these outcomes by initially offering a framing through which to understand the dynamics of vocational education systems and as a means of comparing across such systems. That framing comprises: (a) historical context-institutional arrangements; (b) social–political-geographical factors; (c) societal sentiment and (d) how these specifically shape the purposes and form of vocational education. Overall, it is held that the particular quality of engagement amongst central agencies (i.e. government, social partners, as well as organization of schools that operate on national level (MBO-council, HBO council) and the locale in which vocational education provisions are enacted have come to and will likely continue to shape the form and purposes of this vocational education system. So, whilst the particular complex of factors is nationally-specific, the negotiations here resonate across other nation states.

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Enhancing Teaching and Learning in the Dutch Vocational Education System

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Specialist studies in education not elsewhere classified

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