Pathways to Professions
Understanding Higher Vocational and Professional Tertiary Education Systems
Higher vocational and professional tertiary education includes programmes with very
different design features and functions, ranging from two-year programmes in tertiary
institutions through professional bachelor degrees to free-standing professional examinations
designed to upskill existing practitioners. In some European countries the scale of
enrolment in the higher vocational and professional tertiary education sector now
rivals that in regular universities. But not all countries have established a separate
sector; in some countries applied, practically oriented programmes are taught within
multi-purpose institutions alongside programmes like history or physics.
This report compares this sector across OECD countries, drawing on quantitative and
qualitative data. It describes types of programmes across countries and assesses data
quality. The report zooms in on pathways leading into vocational and professional
programmes and transitions into further learning or the labour market, as well as
the profile of learners served by these programmes and links to the labour market.
Comparative data in this area have major gaps because of the lack of internationally
agreed definitions for programme orientation at tertiary levels. This report proposes
a three-way classification to resolve this problem and sets out practical tools to
implement this and thereby improve data availability and quality.
Available from May 05, 2022
In series:OECD Reviews of Vocational Education and Trainingview more titles