International comparisons in further education

This research consisted of comparative analysis between selected issues of Further Education (FE) in England and FE or Initial Vocational Education and Training (IVET) in Finland, Ireland, Sweden and Australia (focussing on New South Wales).

This research emphasised the complex nature of post-compulsory provision in the four country contexts, and highlighted the acute necessity for ‘joined-up’ policy thinking that crosses different policy domains, carefully designed and prepared reforms, and ‘creeping rather than jumping’ reform. The evidence suggests that excessive reform of one particular feature of a system (such as qualifications) will not provide the stability and coherence that post-compulsory VET systems need in order to be able to attract learners to the VET provision and employers to those who successfully complete that provision.

Tom Leney, Tom May, Geoff Hayward and Stephanie Wilde (2007) International comparisons in further education, DFES Research Report RR832