The Shifting Relationship between Vocational and Higher Education in France and Germany: towards convergence?
Article first published online: 15 AUG 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
European Journal of Education
Special Issue: The Bologna Process Revisited
Volume 47, Issue 3, pages 405–423, September 2012
How to Cite
Powell, J. J. W., Graf, L., Bernhard, N., Coutrot, L. and Kieffer, A. (2012), The Shifting Relationship between Vocational and Higher Education in France and Germany: towards convergence?. European Journal of Education, 47: 405–423. doi: 10.1111/j.1465-3435.2012.01534.x
- Issue published online: 15 AUG 2012
- Article first published online: 15 AUG 2012
- higher education;
- vocational training;
In Europe, the Bologna and Copenhagen Processes in higher education (HE) and vocational education and training (VET) are on the agenda, aiming to create a European educational area. Acknowledging important differences between countries, we compare the evolving relationship between HE and VET. We ask whether and how these two distinct organisational fields in France and Germany have changed in recent decades. Comparing institutional shifts, the article analyses whether long-standing differences in postsecondary education and training systems and the education/economy nexus in these two countries have remained stable. We argue that these countries’ skill formation systems have begun to converge, departing from their original institutionalisation paths. Thus, while the traditional typologies that contrast France and Germany have served as useful heuristic devices, they require revision to adequately represent incremental institutional change in these skill formation systems resulting from endogenous reforms and exogenous pressures due to Europeanisation.