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Internationalisation Strategies of German VET Providers: Core Driving Forces and Reflections About Demand

Kühn, Ida Kristina; Holle, Larissa

Nägele, Christof; Stalder, Barbara E.; Weich, Miriam

Context: Dual Vocational Education and Training (IVET) and Continuing/Further Training (CVET) are considered as success factors for economic and social development in both Germany and internationally. Against this backdrop, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) currently runs a funding line to foster the internationalisation of vocational education and training (VET) service providers and support them to establish successful training provision abroad. Building on the limited research already available on international activities of German VET providers, this study aims to identify the most relevant drivers, obstacles and motivations for internationalisation of VET services within this context.

Method: The analysis is based on an online survey conducted among German VET providers in international markets. It focuses on selected results related especially to the criteria of market selection (political, socio-cultural, economic, and technological criteria).

Findings: Most internationalisation decisions of VET providers are driven by customer-oriented service/product development. While there are few obstacles to internationalisation as such, providers seem to face difficulties when it comes to further adapting training services to local needs. Three thirds of all VET service providers in our sample became active due to demand identified in the target country.

Conclusions: VET service providers seem to enter markets that hold the most potential for the establishment of VET services. Next steps for further research would be to examine whether they a) act on the demand for VET services in the target country, b) mainly address German industry (parallel structures) at local level/abroad or c) artificially create demand for their products.

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