Internationalization of Vocational and Higher Education Systems in Transition (INVEST)
This comparative project investigates internationalization and institutional changes at the nexus of advanced general education and specific vocational training in North America and Europe. It reports on contemporary developments in national postsecondary educational systems, examines institutional persistence and change as these systems react to international pressures, and analyzes the consequences of such developments for participation in education and employment as well as social mobility. The analysis goes beyond the cross-sectional, as we ask how national systems developed and why they change as they do. Our focus is on the evolution of these educational systems’ complementary models of preparing young adults for labor market participation and active citizenship. Further, the study emphasizes competition between the organizational fields involved in advanced skill formation: Vocational education and training in schools and firms, on the one hand, and tertiary education in academies, colleges, and universities, on the other. Building on detailed national portraits of structures and pathways, this project synthesizes two rarely combined literatures—on higher education institutions and on vocational education and training systems—to understand dynamics of change in postsecondary education.