Building ‘autonomy and public-private partnerships' for Centres of Vocational Excellence

Autonomy and public-private partnerships (PPPs) are critical for VET institutions to excel. They are linked to institutional development, governance, management, and financing. Autonomy is the right of the education provider to self-govern and take decisions, independently and with accountability. Whilst, public-private partnerships (PPP) combine the competencies of multiple actors to generate new solutions and services.

Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) are institutions that provide strong leadership, managerial, financial, pedagogic and networking capacities, that exercise self-governance and they particularly engage the private sector in their activities by forging PPPs in different forms.

How is the ETF supporting?

Autonomy and public-private partnershipis one of eight themes receiving targeted focus in the ETF's Network for Excellence (ENE) supporting Centres of Vocational Excellence in the EU's neighbouring regions, Africa and EU member states. A partnership of VET centres from ETF Partner countries (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Israel, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey) and 2 EU Member States (Finland, and Netherlands) are working together to find ways to enhance these areas.  

Different forms of public-private partnerships are being supported to build the vocational skills needed by the labour market. Peer learning activities, network meetings, coaching sessions as well as research are used to promote innovative models among participating VET Centres. The Finnish organisation Omnia: a large and modern education provider is guiding and facilitating the work of the partnership. 

In the first phase of the initiative a baseline study on CoVEs’ autonomy in forging public-private partnerships and how they foster excellence in VET was undertaken.

On-going activities until 2023 include:

  • An in-depth study on working processes and key practices in CoVEs to advance autonomy and public-private partnerships, picking up on outcomes from the baseline study.
  • Sharing knowledge and practices through peer learning activities for core-members in order to unpack international models (such as the Finnish and Dutch models).
  • Coaching sessions for the participating CoVEs to dig in-depth into various aspects of autonomy and PPP in VET.
  • Analysing the progress made by participating CoVEs as well as barriers and enablers for progress in this field.
  • Feeding the results of this study into other thematic areas covered by the ENE (e.g., WBL, creating entrepreneurial CoVEs, transitioning to green/digital skills, etc.)


Centres of vocational excellence are avant-garde and a driving force for education and training system reform. They contribute to regional skills strategies, promoting employment and regional development by working closely with employers, and responding to learners with personalised learning pathways and the latest technology. 

The ETF Network for Excellence, ENE, mirrors the European Union initiative on Centres of Vocational Excellence under the Erasmus+ programme. It is supporting members from ETF partner countries in the EU’s neighbourhood to share ideas, practices and experience at both national and international levels.

More information can be found on the ETF's OpenSpace here.

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