Network for excellence

Vocational excellence

Creating an International Network for Centres of Vocational Excellence

What are centres of excellence in vocational education and training?

Centres of vocational excellence are organisations meeting criteria of innovation and quality in education and training provision and in how they respond to labour market skills demands. Typically, centres are successful vocational schools or other providers or clusters of such schools. Vocational excellence addresses the needs of specific local contexts, connects with smart specialisation strategies creating synergy between state and private initiatives to deliver good results. They can be beacons for vocational training reforms, and good partnerships between relevant stakeholders.

What is the aim of the ETF initiative 'Network for Excellence'?

The ETF’s initiative involves the creation of a network offering a platform for continuous exchange of practice among new and existing centres of excellence at local, national or international level. The network will support the diffusion of excellence to the VET system and support the development of partnerships within and between different countries to learn from one another and to address their own development collaboratively. Methodological tools will be developed to support the development of centres of excellence.

The ETF initiative is connected to the wider initiative of the European Commission. Cooperation between centres of excellence from our partner countries and those in the European Union and across the globe will offer important mutual benefits for improvement through peer learning.

The project will inform policy makers to understand the needs and opportunities of centres of excellence so that strategies created are informed by diverse international practices as well as the experience of practitioners.

What are the themes of the project?

The ETF network is focused on eight themes:

  • Lifelong learning in vocational education and training – from initial to continuing training and adult education
  • Education-business collaboration and cooperation
  • Pedagogy and professional development
  • Smart specialisation – Mobilising Innovation, ecosystems and SMEs
  • Industry 4.0 and digitalisation
  • Autonomy and Institutional Development (financing, leadership, governance)
  • Going green – supporting sustainable goals
  • Social inclusion
Who can join the ETF network?

For a Centre of Excellence or VET Provider, membership is based on three criteria:

  • Endorsement by the relevant national authority
  • Engagement in specific themes
  • Commitment to the network

National ministries nominate individual centres or clusters of vocational training providers to join the Network. The initial number of members for 2020 is limited to 50 members. The centres endorsed by relevant national authorities that cannot become full members of the network may be included in a registry offering associate membership that can provide opportunities for partnership with other vocational centres of excellence. 

Policy makers (ministries, other national, regional stakeholders, etc.) from EU Member States and partner countries are invited to engage in the actions of the Network.

Where can I find more information?

For more information contact us on the dedicated page on the OpenSpace virtual platform.

More information

The ETF network for excellence_Concept note
The ETF network for excellence_PPT presentation
The ETF network for excellence_Leaflet