NETWORKS AND INTERNATIONALIZATION OF VOCATIONAL EDUCATION
CIMO Centre for International Mobility (FINLAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:Finnish vocational institutions have many national and international projects whose target is to develop this field of education, e.g. to promote co-operation between different education sectors. The aim of this paper is to present a research project that scrutinizes the networks that contributing to the internationalization of vocational education. The networks under study consist of Finnish vocational institutions and their national as well as international partners.
The research data contain 33 networks, which are located in different areas of Finland. Research methods that were used are Social Network Analysis, questionnaires and interviews. The main focus in this research project has been on qualitative and structural characteristics of the networks, and how they are relating with their main target – to benefit internationalization. In this project networks’ structural characteristics like density and centrality are being compared with their qualitative characteristics like intrinsic trust and flow of information in the network. Perhaps the most important target of this research was to probe, what are the impacts of the co-operation between different organisations on the internationalization of the education field in general and on institutions in particular. Key finding of this study is that this networking increase international mobility of students and teachers in vocational institutions and even more importantly, it facilitates organizing these mobility periods abroad. In addition, networking helps institutions to share organizational resources in the mobility and gives them more credibility when they apply economical support for their projects.
Another result is that the networks that are dense and have low centrality seem to be better qualified to contribute to the internationalization of vocational education.
Keywords: Network, internationalization.