VPET research

In accordance with Art. 4 of the Federal Vocational and Professional Education and Training Act (VPETA), the Confederation is responsible for developing and masterminding research in upper-secondary level vocational education and training (VET), tertiary-level professional education and research on the Swiss VPET system as a whole. The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) will continue to support VPET research in Switzerland until a sustainable structure in terms of organisation and personnel has reached a scientific level that is recognised internationally.

In order to promote sustainable development of Swiss research endeavours in these fields, SERI has established priority themes to be dealt with by competence centres that are linked to university chairs. These bodies are referred to as “leading houses” or competence networks.

  • Economics of Education, Firm Behaviour and Training Policies (University of Zurich and University of Bern)
  • Technologies for Vocational Training (Dual-T) (Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne and partners)
  • Learning and Instruction for Commercial Apprentices (LINCA) (University of Zurich)
  • Governance in Vocational and Professional Education and Training (University of St. Gallen, University of Cologne, partner)

Research projects must enable conceptual gaps to be filled and educational policy needs to be covered. In addition, they foster the next generation of researchers in the VET, professional education and VPET fields.

In addition to the aforementioned priority themes, SERI also conducts projects that are devoted to specific issues relating to VET and professional education.

In the field of VET, research is conducted by the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (SFIVET). SFIVET's R&D Division deals with themes that are closely related to apprenticeship training from a multidisciplinary perspective. SFIVET actively contributes to fostering the next generation of researchers through its Master of Science in Vocational Education and Training programme (MSc in VET). In addition, SFIVET organises a specialised conference devoted to research in this field: the “International Congress on Research in Vocational Education and Training”.

Thanks to its experience and the insight of its professors, the University of Teacher Education of Zurich (Department for Upper-Secondary Education and Training) has published numerous publications on teacher training.

The University of St. Gallen's Institute of Business Education and Educational Management conducts research on various aspects of vocational and professional education and training (in particular education policy development projects).

Other relevant research projects are:

  • University of Basel, sociology seminar, TREE (School-to-work transition)
  • University of Geneva, Faculty of Psychology and Education Science
  • University of St. Gallen, chair for economic pedagogy
  • University of Zurich, Institute for Education Science, chair for vocational and professional education and training