EU STEM Coalition - Taskforce Meeting: ETF workshop 'Setting up VET Centres of Excellence in Ukraine'

EU STEM Coalition - Taskforce Meeting: ETF workshop 'Setting up VET Centres of Excellence in Ukraine'

5 March 2019
Host organisation: 
European Training Foundation (ETF)
City & meeting location: 
Short summary: 

The European Training Foundation (ETF) - EU agency supporting countries surrounding the European Union to reform their education, training and labour market systems - is currently involved in supporting the government of Ukraine in the reform of the VET-system. In cooperation with the Ukrainian ministry of education, a two-day seminar was organised focused on setting up VET Centres of Excellence and Innovation in Ukraine. The EU STEM Coalition was asked to contribute to the work sessions and highlight best-practices in VET. 

Objective of the meeting: 

To facilitate the setting-up of (partially EU-funded) VET Centres of Excellence and Innovation based on existing best practices in Ukraine. 


In a two-day working programme co-hosted by the Ukrainian ministry of Education and Science - the framework of a system of Centres of Vocational Excellence and Innovation in VET was further shaped. Based on the findings of the work sessions (see: Background Note: Setting up VET Centres of Excellence & Innovation in Ukraine: Learning Practices for Policy Implementation). 


Key-challenges in the Ukrainian context include:


  • Inefficient network of VET institutions accompanied with outdated infrastructure in the majority of the VET institutions (in many schools no improvements have been made for last 30 years).
  • Low quality of VET provision, absence of quality assurance system, mismatch with the LM requirements.
  • Low development of systemic approaches to Work Based Learning (WBL).
  • Overlapping of professions and qualifications; Insufficient provision of training means and materials, lack of practical training.
  • Low performance regarding VET governance and management at all levels particularly as a result of insufficient understanding of VET system’s benefits for the country and for the regions development.
  • Low level of autonomy for VET institutions; Lack of sector coordination.
  • Growing lack of quality teaching staff (specifically masters of practical training).
  • Insufficient financing of VET, inefficient funding schemes of VET institutions, lack of medium-term budget planning.
  • Stable decrease of the students’ population (and their enrolment) due to low attractiveness of VET and demographic issues; Ineffective organisation and outdated methods of Vocational Guidance.
  • Lack of sufficiently credible medium-term forecast of the LM needs, at both national and regional levels.
  • Fragmentation of the Vocation Education system into “Professional Technical” and “Professional Pre-tertiary”.
  • Poor motivation of partners to be engaged in any VET processes resulting in weak involvement of the social partners specifically the employers in all components of VET, including development of the contents, provision, evaluation, funding, governance and management.
  • Almost complete inaction of the Ukrainian Regional VET Councils.


In a series of workshops various best-practices from the EU were highlighted. The EU STEM Coalition was asked to provide a work-session on the establishment of 100+ 'Centres of Vocational Innovation' in the Netherlands. This programme (developed and coordinated by the Dutch national STEM platform) is currently backed by a 120 million euro government investment fund with a total project budget of 360 million euro (for more information, click here). 


Next steps: 

More information about the Dutch Centres of Vocational Innovation will be shared with ETF and Ukrainian stakeholders.